Question for Bernie:
Hi from sunny Las Vegas. It is a little chilly but not much.
I will miss my friend who was my neighbor and someone who actually cared and thought good things of me. I spoke at her memorial through tears. She is the only human being who has died in my life who touched my heart and showed me about love.
She cared enough about me to look out of her kitchen and living room windows to check and make sure my garage door was closed. When I would forget she would call me, even sometimes at midnight, and ask me to close it.
She was a godsend to me. She would say nice things about me, and talk to me on the phone about what was going on in the neighborhood and letting my other neighbors know how I was doing.
I will miss her.
So, now accept the fact that you are worth loving and start loving yourself.
Response to Bernie:
At first, reading your answer made me smile… then laughter followed. You hit the nail on the head—your insights are amazing. Then, tears came because for some reason I still find it difficult to feel worthy and love myself.
It’s time to consider re-parenting yourself. When people in your adult life show you by their actions and what they say that they see you as worthy of love, yet you still can’t love yourself, it’s often because you were not loved as a child in a way that encouraged you to find the authentic you. Parents can send the message to a child that the only acceptable behavior is doing what pleases others, and that if you express yourself in any way that does not conform to that “rule” you are somehow bad.
Many children never learn that loving relationships have room for them to be who they really are, even if someone disagrees with their behavior or opinion. Love is not a bargaining chip. It is either there or it isn’t. When it is there, it is a constant as the relationship goes through all the changes that life brings.
So re-parent yourself by getting out your baby pictures and every day tell that little one that you love her. Open yourself up to rediscovering that authentic self within you. Use meditation or guided imagery and don’t be afraid to look at all aspects of yourself, including things you may have grown up thinking were negative. Transform those negative messages you got so long ago into positive ones and create an image of yourself as you really are. Take time every day to visualize that image and match your daily behavior to that positive image. You will find that soon you DO feel love for yourself.
Remember, to love yourself is not selfish—it is selfless, because only when you learn to love yourself can you really reach out to others and offer unconditional love and support.