I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but it seems like a lot of the breast cancer patients I’ve spoken to lately are really struggling with a very simple concept, that of loving themselves.

Anthony Powell once said “Self-love seems so often unrequited.”  For many, a lack of self-love has left a hole inside their spirit and how can one heal with that going on?

I think that love is the most significant thing in human life.  Why is it so hard for us to love ourselves?

Often, I believe it goes back to those messages received from parents during very young, formative years.  We might have heard “I wasn’t planning to have another child when you came along”, or “Why can’t you be more like your sister?”  Such statements can be so damaging and can set our unconscious minds to thinking we are not worthy of love.

God’s Reset Button

For me, having cancer was simply a matter of  my inner healer saying “Pay attention!  You’ve been stressing about everything lately.  I’m going to make you hurt a little right now so you will wake up and get back on your path.”

Dr Bernie Siegel calls pain and suffering “God’s re-set button”.  I like that.  Going through a life-threatening disease like cancer is sometimes the only way we will make the necessary changes.

Getting Some Help

There are some self-love exercises that various mind-body medicine teachers suggest, for instance, stand in front of a mirror every morning and look yourself in the eyes and say “I love you” and mean it.  Sounds like a good place to start.

You can also join a support group focused on self-love and healing.

From what I’ve learned about the mind and body, though, we need to delve deeper to change those long-standing beliefs because our subconscious mind is controlling the show.  You can consciously decide to start loving yourself but if your subconscious mind believes you are not worthy of love or that you are useless, no amount of positive affirmations is going to change that deep seated belief.

One good therapeutic method is hypnosis,which is when a hypnotherapist induces a trance state in a patient whereby relaxation and heightened imagination or visualization can help bring about some real changes in beliefs.  There are some very helpful YouTube videos (I like Steve G Jones and a site called hypnosistoday.com).

Another method is neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) which is a method of retraining the brain – it’s difficult to describe it more fully than that.  If I had to choose between hypnosis and NLP, I believe I’d choose hypnosis, it has more research behind it and is generally employed by board certified psychiatrists.

Why Loving Yourself is Important

Vast quantities of research has been done on healing and why people don’t heal like they should and what researchers have found is that if people can be brought to love themselves, they heal not only psychologically but also physically.  Love comes from our deepest essence, when we feel love it becomes a whole body experience and true healing can take place.

According to www.hypnosistoday.com, “Self-love is the great healer. It purifies and fortifies your body, mind, and spirit. It makes you stronger and softer. Self-love is magnetic: when you love yourself, you draw other self-loving people into your life.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

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