“‘I woke up this morning and I had a hard time for a while,’ said one recovering man. ‘Then I realized it was because I wasn’t liking myself very much.’ Recovering people often say: ‘I just don’t like myself. When will I start liking myself?’
“The answer is: start now. We can learn to be gentle, loving, and nurturing to ourselves. Of all the recovery behaviors we’re striving to attain, loving ourselves may be the most difficult, and the most important. If we are habitually harsh and critical toward ourselves, learning to be gentle with ourselves may require dedicated effort.
“But what a valuable venture!
“By not liking ourselves, we may be perpetuating the discounting, neglect, or abuse we received in childhood from the important people in our life. We didn’t like what happened then, but find ourselves copying those who mistreated us by treating ourselves poorly.
“We can stop the pattern. We can begin giving ourselves the loving, respectful treatment we deserve.
“Instead of criticizing ourselves, we can tell ourselves we performed well enough.
“We can wake up in the morning and tell ourselves we deserve a good day.
“We can make a commitment to take good care of ourselves throughout the day.
“We can recognize that we’re deserving of love.
“We can do loving things for ourselves.
“We can love other people and let them love us.
“People who truly love themselves do not become destructively self-centered. They do not abuse others. They do not stop growing and changing. People who love themselves well, learn to love others well too. They continually grow into healthier people, learning that their love was appropriately placed.
“Today I will love myself. If I get caught in the old pattern of not liking myself, I will find a way to get out.”
~from “The Language of Letting Go” by Melody Beattie