Tell me if you can answer this question because I still don’t know if I can.
How do you know how much you love yourself?
I have asked myself this question hundreds of times. I have read, read, read, dozens of books, and attended courses looking for the answer.
Along with this life journey, I learned that an important clue about my inner world is to respond to this other question: How judgmental am I of others?
My best friend’s ex-boyfriend is abusive and left all his trash in her house. He is so irresponsible about everything.
Can you notice it? I have been judgmental…
And, by observing myself closely; I have found myself silently criticizing others.
But, what does this have to do with my self-love?
I am surrounded by friendly people, to be honest, I can’t even consider my best friend’s ex-boyfriend as one of my “everybodies.”
Why did I care?
Perhaps this is the clue about something deeper about me and my childhood.
This is what I learned:
When you feel someone “pushes your buttons, ” and you simply can’t stand this person, you may be projecting your feelings onto this person.
Said in other words, this person reminds you something you hate from yourself or your past.
This is how it works…
Let’s say you were unfairly told you were irresponsible when you were a kid, this may have hurt you deeply. But in the present you don’t recall it.
As you grew up, as an adult you learned you were never irresponsible; on the contrary! You are way too responsible.
More than likely you are unaware of the rejection you have to irresponsible behaviors. You haven’t yet acknowledged it, or you may know about it but hadn’t faced the reality of this ingrained demeanor.
Your subconscious mind is aware of the dislike you have for this behavior, though. So, it automatically contracts your awareness, as you feel a profound rejection towards it.
As a result, you become judgmental of the behavior for which you were unfairly judged and condemned in the past.
It is not that you will think: “Oh, this is the same reason why I was unfairly judged, and that now I am projecting with this guy.”
Perhaps deep inside, you would like to forgo responsibility for a while and become a little self-indulgent. But you are so afraid of being called irresponsible than you may never admit your wish to be free just once.
You felt so hurt when you were called irresponsible that you can’t afford that feeling again. So you simply hate it when someone just let things flow in someone else’s hands.
You may even attract some irresponsible, careless, and flaky people. But instead of admitting you are a bit like them, you will find yourself secretly judging them.
It’s an Aha moment! Isn’t it?
When you can accept that all that happened is past; that nothing about that exists today. When you give yourself permission to be free, peacefully accepting this is part of yourself; when you give yourself compassion, then you can tell you love yourself.
It is then when you are at peace with yourself and with the world around you.
As you learn to accept yourself and your feelings, your reality changes.
When you stop seeing “wrong” in others, and you avoid judgments. You will find that this acceptance spreads and your self-love grow.
Then, when you love yourself, you will find that magically you will be deeply loved by others.