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A 3-Minute Practice to Love Yourself Even When You Hate Yourself

by | Self-Love & Self-Care

I can be mean and nasty when I’m stressed or overwhelmed-especially toward my husband Shmuel. Though our love has been unquestionable since we were 19 years old, he is always the first person to suffer when I am feeling off balance.

A few days ago, I lashed out at him. I followed my verbal attack with an apology, but it was too late to take back my words. The hurt was done.

A few conversations led to a better understanding between us. But the hardest part was not asking for his forgiveness. The hardest part was bouncing back to loving myself, because I hated myself for what I had said!

I’ve learned how important it is to “love yourself when you hate yourself” from one of my heroes, Danielle LaPorte.

“If you can muster some tenderness for yourself when you think you’re at your worst–at precisely the time when you think you deserve criticism or punishment, then you’re on the way to stable self-esteem. This doesn’t mean that you don’t take responsibility for being a jerk or breaking promises…”

Danielle LaPorte

Choose to love yourself more

Self-love is not found but chosen. Just as with happiness, we often place the responsibility for loving ourselves on other people’s shoulders. It is very easy to play the “blame-game” and wonder why other people drain our energy.

Choosing to love yourself is a sacred responsibility that is yours alone. Regardless of what you say or what you do, you can choose self-love in every given moment. Even when you mess up.

Give yourself permission to love yourself more

It is hard for women to allow ourselves to be human. We get used to wearing the superhero mask, and we forget that in order to truly become a Wonder Woman, we must first love ourselves. Loving and forgiving yourself is not as easy as loving and forgiving others. If you are anything like me, you might not be doing so well. In order to love yourself more, you must give yourself the permission.

But how?

Practice the 3-minute “Self-Love Chat” to love yourself more
Back to my little self-love crisis.

After my blow-up at Shmuel, I could not shake the guilt, shame, and self-criticism. I knew I needed to turn to my “Self-Love Chat,” a practice I created to help myself and other women pivot away from self-judgment and toward self-love.

The “Self-Love Chat” is a gentle conversation that you have with yourself daily. But it deserves special attention when you want to switch your inner dialogue from “I hate myself” to “I love myself.”

It is important to make the practice fun and simple. Imagine telling someone else why you love her–only now say it to yourself. To make the chat feel authentic, don’t use just positive words. (Yes, I know! Affirmations are supposed to be positive to be effective! But try it. It works!).

Here is an example of the first few days:

Day 1

I hate myself for what I said. I love myself anyway. I should have kept my mouth shut. I love myself anyway. I ruined everything. I love myself anyway. I should have done better. I love myself anyway. I did it AGAIN. I love myself anyway. There is no excuse. I love myself anyway.

Day 2

I apologized. I love myself. I was being honest. I love myself. I wasn’t being 100% honest. I love myself anyway. I am being nicer to myself today. I love myself anyway. I feel fulfilled and accomplished. I love myself. I said 40 times: “love yourself.” I love myself. I choose to be kind to myself. I choose to be compassionate to myself. I choose to forgive myself. I love myself.

Day 3

I love myself no matter what. I love myself for who I am, regardless of what I do. Just for today–I choose to love myself. It feels good to love myself. I know how to love myself. I believe it is possible to love yourself. I make self-love my priority today. I love myself.

When you look at these examples, you can probably see that the language shifted from Day 1 to Day 2. I learned to add “I love myself anyway” from Danielle Laporte. I think this idea is brilliant because it makes self-love believable.

There are three ways to give yourself a “Self-Love Chat”:

  1. The written chat
    Write your daily chat in your “self-love” journal, with dry-erase markers on your bathroom mirror, or on sticky notes posted where you will see them.
  2. The mental chat
    If you are not the writerly type, simply create a mental chat. You can do it while standing in line at the grocery store or the bank. Find three minutes every day to practice the self-love chat in your mind.
  3. The recorded chat
    I read somewhere that nothing is more powerful than the sound of your own voice. Record your self-love chat on your smart phone and listen to it! If you’ve never tried it before, you must give it a chance. Listening to yourself saying, “I love myself,” is truly powerful.

We all know that forgiving yourself is one of the most difficult things to do, but it’s worth the effort. The next time you make a mistake, don’t punish yourself. Love yourself instead.

14 Comments

  1. Kathleen DeGrandis

    Thank you Michal. You are an inspiration to me. No matter what you keep progressing in recovery in spite of being human. I know for me no-one is harder on me than I am on myself. So I want to thank you for the self love exercises. Thank god we only have today and that it is a daily program. Thank You again Michal

    Reply
    • Michal

      It is so good to see you here, Kathleen. I love to connect with you in different circles and different communities.
      I can relate to “no-one is harder on me than I am on myself”. that’s common for so many women I have conversations with! Hope that you are inspired to create a self-love practice. It worth practicing!

      Reply
  2. Zeena

    This is so powerful. Thank you for your wisdom.

    Reply
    • Michal

      Thank you, Zeena. and thank you for taking the time and writing!

      Reply
  3. Penny

    Thanks Michal for your honesty and humanness. This is such an inspiring message on self care. I am working on self care and saying these things out loud has been difficult for me to believe as I am much harder on myself. Your message gives me ways to keep working on being as kind to myself as I am to others. If I can not find love within, it is difficult to find it elsewhere. Somehow it gives me encouragement and hope to know with all your wisdom you also struggle as well. It helps me find the courage and willingness to keep changing. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Michal

      I know many Penny’s but reading your message tells me exactly which Penny is writing…
      You are an inspiration yourselves, Penny. For so many years you were hard on yourself and you were hard on others. Self-care was not your priority! Coaching and mentoring you is a true blessing to me. YOUR journey inspires me to take care of myself. and every time I guide you on making yourself vulnerable and loving yourself – it reminds me to listen to my own advice. You are brave and courageous. You are love, you are loved, you are lovable.

      Reply
  4. Mindy Ellin

    Really love this concept. It’s so easy to beat myself up. I would never talk to my loved ones the way I talk to myself. Thanks for putting these practical steps on paper!! I’m going to try these “chats”

    Reply
    • Michal

      Let me know how it goes, Mindy! You know me: I am very practical and I’m all about simple actions that lead to result. and you: keep roaring, and remember the yellow brick road…

      Reply
  5. Emily

    Thank you for sharing your humanity. It’s comforting to know you snap at your husband too. It’s comforting to know that the people we learn from are also human. That we are all in this together. Last week i felt the guilt of not being more realized and enlightened in the face of difficulty and you were right there to support me, to remind me to be loving to myself- to remember my humanity. And here you are modeling it for me as well. Much love to you Michal!

    Reply
    • Michal

      Emily – you are right! we are all in this together! I have my moments, you have your moments, and we are connected in this sisterhood of like-minded women who who accepts each other unconditionally and help each other grow. Much, much love back!

      Reply
  6. Randi

    Thank you for sharing this real and true voice. I can certainly relate. “Ugly” escapes deep from the trenches to those closest to us.
    Bravo for being real and open. We’ve all been there. Yes. It’s the returning to ourselves with love and tenderness.
    I love the 3 min technique. As it reminds me of tapping – I can only imagine how powerful that would be to combine that technique with EFT/Tapping.
    We take on a lot. That’s how woman are wired. But we have breaking points.
    I loved Cheryl Richardson’s ‘Extreme Self Care’. Did you have to read that for iPec?
    Thank you for sharing your humanness.
    Giant Hugs going out to you Michal.

    Reply
    • Michal

      You have so much wisdom to share with the world, Randi! and you are right – we all have our breaking points. and we all have different tools in our “medicine bag” that can be easily integrated with each other. My 3- minute love chat, can be easily integrated with tapping, Reiki, yoga and any other modality. Yes, I’ve read Cheryl Richardson?s ?Extreme Self Care? and it truly speaks to me. Sending you love and hugs, Randi!

      Reply
  7. brigitte

    thank you Michal for your words. Sharing moment when you had trouble make me realise that If you can be honest about it, I should also be able to look frankly at what I am doing and be kind to me. I think it is the most difficult to learn. As coach or reiki master, we want to be kind to others and be there for them. And I forget to be kind to me and forgive myself. I will try your 3 days program. Thank you thank you thank you for being such a great woman!

    Reply
    • Michal

      Hi Brigitte, just want to clarify it’s s 3-minute practice. (Not 3 days). What you wrote is very important. One of the Reiki Principles you and I live by as Reiki Masters, is Just for today, be kind to all living things. That includes – being kind to ourselves. Sending you love!

      Reply

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