How many of us need to sit down and decide to love ourselves? Despite what our body looks like? Despite how others perceive us? Despite all those internalized messages that beat us down for our looks, our skin color, our gender, who we love?
I think sometimes people dismiss this idea of loving ourselves as we are as somehow lazy, or a version of giving up. But that could not be further from the truth. It takes great courage and determination to decide to love ourselves.
Even those lucky enough to grow up in a home that was loving and supportive, you cannot escape internalizing some of the negative things society has to say, in both ways large and small. Sometimes it’s being bullied in school for who you are or how you look. Sometimes it’s not seeing yourself represented in tv and moves and books. Sometimes it is the vitriol spilled by politicians. And often it is from advertisements that highlight all the ways in which we fall short.
But we can learn to fight these internalized negative beliefs. We can learn to stand up to ourselves and others and decide to try to love ourselves no matter what.
When you come from a family in which there was abuse or neglect, chaos or toxicity, this can be even more challenging.
EMDR therapy is a powerful tool to help you change how you see yourself and your past, and get more hopeful about the future.