In the movie Bridget Jones Diary there is a scene where the main character, Bridget, is told that she is loved just the way she is. I love this part of the movie as it reminds me of the inner struggle most of us have when it comes to loving ourselves just the way we are.
The messages that we received growing up can have a great impact in our ability to love and accept ourselves and this has a direct impact on our ability to have self-compassion. Some of the messages that we received as children were:
I love you as long as you do the right thing.
I love you as long as you take care of me and everyone else.
I love you as long as you make me look good.
I love you as long as you take care of yourself and I don’t have to take care of you.
I love you as much as you deserve.
These messages place conditions on the way we were loved and the way we learn to accept to be loved. When people talk about unconditional love, they are talking about being loved without having conditions or restrictions placed on them.
We can learn to be loved unconditionally. First, connect with the place inside of you where unconditional love exists. Second, work at removing the obstacles that takes you away from this place inside of you.
Inner work will allow you stay in this place of unconditional love. Practicing mediation is one of the most effective ways to do this work. It creates a clam and peaceful space that can connect you with you authentic self. This is the place where unconditional love resides inside of every one of us.
It takes time and patience for this inner transformation to happen and our old messages to no longer guide of ability to love ourselves. Practice self-compassion as this is the first step in this journey.