Podcast Episode 96 – Loving Yourself

Jul 3, 2023 | Podcast

I’m Diana Swillinger, and this is The Renew Your Mind podcast. Episode 96, Loving Yourself. 

DIANA: Hey. Hey, everybody. How y’all doing? Episode 96. What that means 100 is right around the corner. I’d say it’s hard to believe, but it’s not really hard for me to believe. Because when I started this podcast, I decided I would do it constantly or consistently for a minimum of five years. I’m only two years in, so I won’t be surprised until I get past at least 250. With one a week, it’ll be about five years. But 100 is going to feel great, that’s for sure. Anyway, as I’m hitting this milestone of 100 podcast episodes soon, I was curious and I looked back to see what are the most listened to episodes, and there in the top five was how to Love Yourself. And it’s February, a month.

We often associate with love and hearts and Valentine’s Day and all that. So I thought I would revisit loving yourself. So let’s start with looking at why. Why is this episode that I did how to Love Yourself? Why is that popular? Why do so many people want to learn how to love yourself? I think we can assume it’s because we aren’t loving ourselves well and we know it right. I’d also say it’s telling us that we either want to love ourselves better because we think it’s going to help us or improve our lives or help us feel better, or maybe we think we should love ourselves better. Uh, it’s fascinating to me because if we think we should love ourselves better and that’s why we listen to podcasts about it, or we know it would be good for us, why is it such a struggle? Why haven’t we been loving ourselves? Most of the people listening to this podcast are Christians. I’m a Christian. And we hear conflicting things. Like in the culture, we hear we’re supposed to love ourselves. And then as we’re interpreting scripture and trying to be good Christians, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it fits. Like, we want to be humble. We’re taught to be humble. We want to consider others better than ourselves. We’re taught to do that. We want to serve others.

Sometimes we’re taught, serve other people before you serve yourself. And we want to love others without condition. And maybe we get so spent loving other people, we only get the leftovers or nothing. But it doesn’t make sense to me because I don’t think we’re ever supposed to do this. Be humble and serve others and consider others better than ourselves to the detriment of ourselves, and yet we do it. When we do this, though, we feel depleted. We feel minimized. We feel excluded, overwhelmed, unattended, um, to lost. It’s painful. And when we experience all of that, we know something’s wrong. We know we need more going in to ourselves, more fuel, more rest, more acceptance, more love. But we’re simultaneously rejecting doing it because we think we’re supposed to be serving everyone else. We’re supposed to be under everyone else, dying to self while we lift them up and love them. And then we never learn to love us.

There’s the psychological take on this, too. So I found an article that was short, easy to read, and interesting. If you want to check it out, it’s on Psychology Today. The title is. Why is it so darn hard to love ourselves? And I’m going to read a couple of excerpts in this episode from that article. But the first part I want to read is what it says. Many of us receive the message that life is a struggle and that we don’t deserve the luxury of happiness. Perhaps we grew up with neglect or abuse rather than receiving the message that we have worth and value and that we’re loved. I want to interject to we might currently be in relationships with neglect or abuse and receiving messages that we are not valued or loved. Okay. All right. Going back to the article. Growing up with not enough acceptance and too much shame, we may cling to our shortcomings, past failures and poor decisions. We minimize the good about ourselves and our positive qualities.

Scientists tell us that our brain has a negativity bias. Okay, let’s talk about that negativity bias. What is a negativity bias? A negativity bias is when there’s an imbalance in the attention that our brain gives to negative and positive experiences. It gives more attention to the negative events and experiences to the point where they imprint more quickly into our brain and into our memories, and they linger much longer than the positive ones. That’s why you can have a great day and have so many good things happen and get lots of compliments. But that one person that says something negative, you replay it and it lingers, and it imprints into your brain. Our, uh, brains have a negativity bias. So if you have a lot of life experiences that are painful or shameful or have had you doubting your worthiness, those are leaving a bigger footprint in your brain, contributing to your belief that you don’t deserve love. So you might try to give yourself love and yet be simultaneously rejecting it.

I think Rianon and I touched on this a, uh, couple episodes ago. The listener questions. We talked about feeling guilty when you do self care and how you might finally take a day and go get that pedicure or massage and sit down out in nature with your Starbucks daydreaming and then you feel guilty. You either feel guilty during it or you feel guilty after. You shouldn’t have done it. You didn’t deserve it. There’s so many other things you could have or should have been doing that is your negativity bias winning out. And it might be some of your religious beliefs at play, too. And then we feel depleted. We feel minimized. We feel excluded, overwhelmed, unattended to, lost, unloved. None of the things that God promises us. This is how I know we can look at Bible verses and be like, you’re supposed to be humble. You’re supposed to serve others. You’re supposed to love them more than you love yourself. Yeah, but if it makes us feel like this, how on earth is feeling depleted and minimized and excluded and overwhelmed and unattended to from God? Where in scripture does it tell us that we should feel so lowly and like that? It doesn’t. It doesn’t. It says instead that we can have Christ living in us. We have God himself with us, and he is love. So why not invite God into all of this? You invite God into all of these moments where you know you need to take care of you.

Wouldn’t that then be inviting love into it? One of my own coaches that, um, I get coached, y’all, um, I need somebody outside my own brain to help me see what’s going on in there. One of my coaches likes to challenge me and her clients to ask, what would love look like here? Okay, whatever it is going on in the moment in your life, what would it look like if we brought love? Love for God, love for them, love for me. We’ve got to include the love for me. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. There’s three people we’re supposed to be loving god, others, and ourselves. Like ourselves. God M is not asking us to love others and not ourselves, but that’s what we do. If that’s what he wanted us to do. He would say, love the Lord your God and love others. Don’t worry about yourself. Just go love God and love others. But it doesn’t say that. Okay, so we’re supposed to love ourselves. It doesn’t make sense not to. It doesn’t seem Godly not to, because God is love.

So back to the Psychology Today article. There’s a section, um, on loving ourselves. It says, self love and self compassion are more than just being good to ourselves, such as soaking in a hot tub or getting a massage or buying ourselves flowers, although these things might help. Self compassion is an inner job. It has to do with how we hold ourselves and relate to our feelings. I have to repeat that. It has to do with how we hold ourselves and relate to our feelings. It means finding the strength and resilience to embrace the full range of our human emotions. It means finding inner resources so that we can gently embrace our feelings rather than meet them with aversion or judgments. Being human means wrestling with uncomfortable emotions. I was like, what? When I read that? Oh my goodness, I love that. That is so good. That’s what I teach. This is the secret thing I teach, right? I tell you all, if you work with me, you’re going to feel better. Secret is I also teach you how to embrace your uncomfortable emotions. I tell people all the time, if you can embrace the good emotions and the uncomfortable ones and welcome them all equally, it will be your superpower for life. And you can embrace all of you in the process. One of the lessons in my coaching program is on self acceptance. And we talk about loving all of ourselves. The good and the bad. I mean, saying the good and the bad, that’s subjective. But loving the things about us that are easy to love and accept and loving about us. The things that seem harder to love and accept. All of it. You’re great at cooking. Love that about you. You’re socially awkward. Love that about you. You feel happy some days. Love that about you. You feel down some days. Love that about you. You are a human living life and feeling emotions. It’s what our brains do. It’s what our bodies do. You feel a need to eat healthy.

Do it because you know it’s good for you. That’s love. Just like you care about your kids eating veggies and not all junk food because you love them. You can love you that way too when you care for a child and you know they need a good night’s sleep and you want them to have it. Because you love them and care about them and you don’t want them to melt down in the morning. But no, you do it mostly because you love them and you care about them and you know it’s good for them. You can love you in that way too. When a friend is doubting her abilities, you tell her what is great about her because you love her. You get to do that for you too. And when a friend is hurting, you let her hurt because you know she needs to process the pain. This is love. And you get to do this for you too. I would sum this up in a nice neat package for you, but the article from Psychology Today does it really well. So I’m just going to read the end of that article.

Self love means accepting ourselves as we are, meeting our feelings with lovingkindness rather than trying to fix or change ourselves. It means being our own best friend. Being compassionate towards ourselves also serves others. Having more inner peace. We will have more to offer. By being more familiar and gentle with our own feelings, we can more easily extend compassion and love towards others when they are feeling distressed or challenged. So happy Valentine’s Day, my friend. Permission to love yourself. All right, y’all, that’s it for today. So I will catch you next week. Until then, take care of you.

As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This