Austin Actualizing

How Does One Develop Self-Love? (lower or uppercase)

25 posts in this topic

I've watched Leo's video on Self-Love a few times. I see the importance of self-love and remember Leo talking about the exercise with the wrist-band. What are some other practices that increase someone's self-love? Would it just be through meditation, psychedelics, kriya yoga etc? 

Edited by Austin Actualizing

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1 minute ago, Serotoninluv said:

@Austin Actualizing Are you referring to self love or Self Love? Both have merits, yet have different approaches, imo. 

Forgot to specify. lower case self-love

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26 minutes ago, Austin Actualizing said:

Forgot to specify. lower case self-love

It depends on the person and their conditioning. I was raised in a hyper-critical environment. My parents went waaay overboard criticizing me when I was a child. Later in life, I dated women that were hyper-critical. It was a toxic extreme, yet it seemed normal to me. As well, I would be hyper-self-critical in my own mind. Any little mistake I made, I would beat myself up. I would often analyze my behaviors and was self-critical even if I didn't do anything wrong. . . Based on my conditioning, one of the keys of self-love was to observe when and how I go into hyper self-criticism, self blame and guilt. And how I would take responsibility of other people's actions and feelings - as if I was responsible. Then, I learned how to let it go, realized when I start doing it, and to stop doing it. . . . For me, this was one of the most important self-love processes. Yet each person is different, has different issues and areas in need of self-love. You have your own.

As well, there are general forms of self love like taking care of one's mind and body. Cooking for themself, eating healthy, doing yoga, massage, relaxation exercises, doing things we love etc. 

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@Serotoninluv Really appreciate the response :D. I am often very critical and hard on myself. I will work on that. What about for uppercase (Self-Love)? 

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I developed this practice not to long ago where I would find one thing that I love about myself and one thing that I hate about myself and then I would contemplate and contrast both of those.

Why do I love parts of myself and not other parts? What is the purpose of hating parts of me? Etc. 

Come up with your own questions. 

I like to look at myself in the mirror while I do that.

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Good question. I agree with @Serotoninluv and @Commodent

I've been doing this for a couple of years, since the first time I went to therapy. I definitely notice a difference, because I catch myself a lot faster when I'm beating myself up and just try to let that go.

However, the tendency to be extremely self-critical still is like the first thing that gets triggered whenever I feel like I made a mistake. I also resonate a lot with the taking responsibility of other people's feelings: Whenever something feels off, like it's not flowing naturally, I think it's because of something I'm doing/not doing. 

Do you guys still feel this hyper-critical part of yourselves being triggered or have you been able to transcend it completely? 

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54 minutes ago, Austin Actualizing said:

@Serotoninluv Really appreciate the response :D. I am often very critical and hard on myself. I will work on that. What about for uppercase (Self-Love)? 

For me, their are two ways to Self-Love. One is the direct experience of Being Love. One Love. Everything is Love. From a human perspective, this isn't easy. We may have small transient glimpses here and there. Moment of awe in which Everything is Love. For me, I needed psychedelics for this. My first exposure was in an Ayahuasca retreat in Peru. There was a transcendent Love of Everything. From the human experience, there is a feeling associated with it, yet it isn't quite like the emotional feeling of relative love. It sorta does, yet relative love is contrasted by not love. Absolute Love has not "not love" contrast.

Another approach I took was to expand my Unconditional Love. Unconditional Love = Absolute Love. It is always present and has no conditions. In Leo's first "What is Love video" he spoke about expanding one's capacity to love. Everyone likes the idea of "Unconditional Love", yet when they look under the hood, they don't like all of it "So that means I have to love him? I have to love that?" And then they recoil. I think a good exercise to expand one's capacity to love is to enter our stretch zone (not panic zone). Some people go straight to Hitler or pedophiles, go into a hissy fit and say "No way!!". It's just too far of a stretch. It's better to go after a shorter putt. Think of someone/something that is in your grey area of love. Who/what is something that doesn't quite deserve your love, yet might kinda if you re-oriented. Then get to know that and learn to love it, then go after the next one on your list. . . For example, at one point - people with insanity issues were borderline for me. Like people with schizophrenia. It's not like I hated them, yet I didnt' feel love for them. They made me kinda uncomfortable and I didn't want to be around them. I wanted them put away in psychiatric wards. . . So, I started volunteering in a psychiatric ward. My first day sitting with psychiatric patients was extremely uncomfortable - I wanted to get the hell outta there and was afraid for my safety. After a few visits, I realized I had some dementophobia. I had a subconscious fear of going insane and people with mental illnesses triggered that. At times during the volunteer work, I felt like I was going insane yet I continued on. As well, I started doing psychedelics and went into insanity zones. This helped me relate to people with mental disorders - our resonance completely changed. They were me and I was them. I was now completely comfortable sitting down with them and felt complete love for them. We often laughed together and hugged each other. They were able to act crazy if they wanted to. In some ways, my "crazy" is much more comfortable being with psychiatric patients. In a way, I feel at home now. They helped me as much as I helped them. Now, many of my students at the college come to me to discuss their neuroses. They know "I know". I don't judge and I love them and their neurosis. . . Next on my list was criminals. . . 

Overtime, I started inching my way toward Unconditional Love.

Another exercise is to go in nature and notice the things you love and don't love. For example, last summer I was hiking in Sedona, AZ. It was a beautiful day and I was feeling blissful. Yet then I noticed the prickly pear cacti. There were large clusters of cacti - some regions where green, healthy and beautiful. Other regions were a nasty, greyish/blackish death. It looked like some type of plague coming through. I felt so bad for the cacti. Then I got upset that the park rangers do not maintain the park and help the cacti stay healthy. I went into a thought story about writing a letter to the park services and letting them know about my concern. . . Then I saw a large trail sign explaining that the prickly pear cacti are actually a large community of many organisms living together. The green, grey and black parts are all part of the multi-organism living in harmony together. As well, it is important for the health of the entire ecosystem. The sign asked that people not try to "help"the cacti by removing "decaying" parts. The "decaying" parts are actually thriving microorganisms. . . This totally recontextaulized things for me. I fell in absolute love with the cacti and microorganisms. The whole thing was so beautiful. I even got on my hands and knees to observe it closer. . . Yet at the human level, am I capable of loving both the human and the cancer in the human? That's a lot harder because I have a stronger connection/identification to the human than the cancer. If it was my gf or me with the cancer it would be even more challenging. 

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16 minutes ago, Rigel said:

I developed this practice not to long ago where I would find one thing that I love about myself and one thing that I hate about myself and then I would contemplate and contrast both of those.

Why do I love parts of myself and not other parts? What is the purpose of hating parts of me? Etc. 

Come up with your own questions. 

I like to look at myself in the mirror while I do that.

Great idea! Thanks ;)

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10 minutes ago, Farnaby said:

Do you guys still feel this hyper-critical part of yourselves being triggered or have you been able to transcend it completely? 

Yes, it's easy to get sucked into it if I'm not cautious, particularly in situations where it is important for me to make a good impression. I really thought I had gotten over it but recently I did a couple of live stream interviews, and then it hit me HARD. Because the knowledge that people all over the world could be watching it and that it would be stored on the Internet forever put some serious pressure on my end to make myself look good. The self-criticism really destabilised me for weeks afterwards. So I definitely think it is journey. But over time as you stop doing it and it becomes less and less frequent, and only occur in rare situations like the ones I mentioned. It's literally a habit you have to forget. And you don't forget things by thinking about it.


I am myself, heaven and hell.

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14 hours ago, Commodent said:

Yes, it's easy to get sucked into it if I'm not cautious, particularly in situations where it is important for me to make a good impression. I really thought I had gotten over it but recently I did a couple of live stream interviews, and then it hit me HARD. Because the knowledge that people all over the world could be watching it and that it would be stored on the Internet forever put some serious pressure on my end to make myself look good. The self-criticism really destabilised me for weeks afterwards. So I definitely think it is journey. But over time as you stop doing it and it becomes less and less frequent, and only occur in rare situations like the ones I mentioned. It's literally a habit you have to forget. And you don't forget things by thinking about it.

OMG I can relate to this so much. I actually want to make more lives streams etc., but I get so self-conscious that I'm not spontaneous and then I start thinking that people will notice this nervousness and not take what I say seriously. This results in me not doing these videos. It's really hard to get out of that vicious-cycle, but I think you're right, you just have to keep doing it until you get used to it and also notice hyper-critical inner dialogue and keep letting it go. 

Thank you :) 

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@Austin Actualizing  The guided meditations from Dawson Church have shown me how to love myself more fully. https://www.eftuniverse.com/meditations3

To summarize the idea behind it in a few words. First I charge my heart in energy, then send it to a place/someone/a memory that I love and then finally bringing it back to the part of myself that needs it.

I found this sequence really helpful because by adding the intermediary step of loving someone else before sending it back to myself would allow me to receive my love unconditionally.

I hope you find the way to your heart soon

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for me self love has a lot to do with loving truth - it’s sometimes difficult to love truth and one self at the same time as sometimes a feeling of guilt or a feeling of responsibility or shame or simple denial (where i still cannot look sometimes) is disgust and fear, blocks us from looking exactly - it doesn’t always mean looking at the content, if the content is cruelty itself. love as the upper case SELF-LOVE for me means either way, still seeing and learning and forgiving one self (sometimes it means to do that for others first, sometimes it means to do that for oneself first) in some sense it means SELF-CARE it also means acting upon it. doing what needs to be done.

for you it also would mean entering your sensitive space which is connected to your inner child, and listen to your intuition. allowing yourself to be kind to yourself allowing others to be kind to you and allowing yourself to be kind to others whatever the situation, even though the first intend is to pull back. and sometimes it means you can’t stay kind because the situation asks of you to do what no one else is willing to do. that can also be an act of SELF-LOVE.

Edited by remember

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1 hour ago, Farnaby said:

OMG I can relate to this so much. I actually want to make more lives streams etc., but I get so self-conscious that I'm not spontaneous and then I start thinking that people will notice this nervousness and not take what I say seriously. This results in me not doing these videos. It's really hard to get out of that vicious-cycle, but I think you're right, you just have to keep doing it until you get used to it and also notice hyper-critical inner dialogue and keep letting it go. 

Thank you :) 

Yes, and in my case the self-criticism often isn't even verbal, so it can be quite hard to become conscious of. I think the biggest challenge is really to not get sucked into that self-critical perspective when such thoughts arise. It's okay to have self-critical feelings and thoughts, but the second you start identifying with it you are not being yourself. I think the first step to letting go is in fact accepting that those feelings are there and not trying to change them, as that will only exasperate the inner conflict. Observe, and recognize your true being beyond these parts. They can't hurt you.

This video series is a great introduction to IFS, which is super effective at dealing inner conflict (because it helps you get in touch with your true self):

It has really been immensely helpful to me.


I am myself, heaven and hell.

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3 hours ago, Commodent said:

Yes, and in my case the self-criticism often isn't even verbal, so it can be quite hard to become conscious of. I think the biggest challenge is really to not get sucked into that self-critical perspective when such thoughts arise. It's okay to have self-critical feelings and thoughts, but the second you start identifying with it you are not being yourself. I think the first step to letting go is in fact accepting that those feelings are there and not trying to change them, as that will only exasperate the inner conflict. Observe, and recognize your true being beyond these parts. They can't hurt you.

This video series is a great introduction to IFS, which is super effective at dealing inner conflict (because it helps you get in touch with your true self):

It has really been immensely helpful to me.

Thank you! That video is very interesting. I can see how those feelings and thoughts are not me, yet the physical sensations are still there, but it's true that "relaxing into them" is the way to go IMO. 

 

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@Farnaby Yes, and those physical sensations are not you either. Only a part of you. Have you ever noticed someone who might seem very insecure in their body language, and yet they seem perfectly fine with it? That's because they are grounded in their whole self. Now, contrast that with someone who is full of inner conflict and overly identify with that insecure part of themselves.


I am myself, heaven and hell.

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