How to Love Yourself Unconditionally
Looking at the beginning, middle and end of the path, you don't need to judge where you belong. All of us have felt at least a few instances where we were perfectly loved and completely lovable. For most people, these times go back to childhood or a first romance. How, then, do we regain such a state? By walking the path that lies ahead. The world's spiritual traditions have provided many road maps, but here I'll offer a few common elements without religious overlay.
Step 1: Making contact with your inner self
This implies paying more attention to self-care. Through meditation, self-reflection or contemplation, and the experience of quiet at least a few minutes every day, you make contact with your inner world. You learn to appreciate and enjoy it.
Step 2: Honestly facing your inner obstacles and resistance
Most people don't like to face their weaknesses and flaws because they judge against them. But you are only human, and you will find that your sense of insecurity and anxiety represents feelings from the past that can be healed. In fact, they want to be released if you will give them a chance. The first step in healing is to look inside and let the process of releasing begin. Healing can proceed along many avenues, from therapy and support groups to energy work, massage, mind-body programs and various Eastern medical approaches.
Step 3: Dealing with old wounds
One could also call this advanced healing. As old residues of negative emotions are released, you find that you are stuck with resentments, hurts and scars that must be dealt with. Beneath the scar, such wounds feel very fresh. It takes help from someone else who understands the situation to go into these dark places—it could be a close friend, mentor, confidant, priest or therapist. No one can do this work alone, I feel, but I'm not underlining any sense of danger or fear. The work can be done safely, without anxiety, and once you start, there's a tremendous sense of exhilaration, even triumph in the process. Just find someone who has walked the path successfully and sympathizes with you fully.