What helps you love yourself?

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is a basic teaching of Christianity, emphasized by Jesus himself, but that seems to be something that many of us struggle to do. Ironically, it is often those who seem the most sure of themselves, and may even be thought of as conceited or stuck up or full of themselves, that in reality are the most insecure and feel the greatest need to prove their worth, because deep inside they have a critical voice telling them they are not worthy of love.

I think we all have a critical voice like that, actually. For some of us, that voice is loud and insistent and beats us up for every little thing we didn’t get done, or didn’t do perfectly. It drowns out or minimizes the praises we get from others, and may even drown out God’s voice of love reminding us that we are of infinite worth and are precious in God’s eyes no matter what. It can rob us of joy if we let it.

How do you counter that voice? Are there strategies you have learned along the way, books you have read, affirmations you have said, or other things you have done that have helped you accept your shortcomings and celebrate your successes? What helps you silence that inner critic and truly love yourself? I’ve suggested a few resources here (see especially the “Knowing and loving yourself” category on the right side of that page), but would love to hear from readers about what has worked for you.

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