I just loved this story about the tiniest member of our family, Nadia. She’s three and you might remember her from this post:

“Nadia, Monuments that Matter”

NadiaNapkin
NadiaLooking

Nadia’s mom recently reported on facebook that, after reading a bedtime book with Nadia, she told her daughter, “Goodnight. I love you.”

Nadia replied:

“Goodnight. I love myself, too.”

What a story! How many of us had the “love” beat out of us (metaphorically of course) by our parents when we exhibited self-love as children?

In my life, I was torn down whenever I was proud of my accomplishments, no matter how small. My father belittled my results or accomplishments. I remember coming home with all As except for one B on my report card and getting a VERY LONG lecture about how disappointed he was and how my stupidity was showing.

My mother used a different approach. She would make fun of me. The same report card brought a remark of “You think you’re so smart. You don’t know anything!” If I was hanging out with friends, she would imitate our giggling or laughing and tell us how silly we were. If I was dating someone, she’d find something wrong with the guy and make fun of him. Humiliation was her weapon!

It took a lot of work to reprogram the negative messages about self-love in my life.

I just love that Nadia GETS IT! And I know, with the support of her parents, she’ll keep it!

What are the messages about self-love you received in your life?

How did they affect you?

What would happen if you said “I love myself, too” each night before you went to sleep?

11 Responses to I love myself, too.

  1. Mary says:

    I just love looking at her face and thinking about her saying that.

    When I think of the negative messages I received when I was young, it makes me very sad. I try my best to ignore them. I never thought about it connected to wegiht. How does that work?

    • Pat Barone says:

      Sometimes, feelings that are hard to feel and accept get “shoved down” inside us. In my experience coaching clients, feelings like this drive a lot of eating behavior. We may “swallow” our feelings and eat to keep unpleasant feelings at bay. In time, the build-up of fat conveniently hides the feelings (and ourselves) as well.

      You may find it helpful to express those old feelings from childhood, perhaps through journaling, and let the pain float away from you.

      None of the negativity from childhood has to survive into adult life, though it may take some conscious work to let go of those thoughts and beliefs.

      For me, it took quite a bit of “processing” to let go of negative feelings. I hope you can release yours too!

      Pat

  2. Mary says:

    I will try Nadia’s approach!! Just because I wasn’t shown how to do that does not mean I cannot adopt it now.

  3. Carmen says:

    I got the messages how i looked meant if i was lovable or not, being thin means successful (you can be stupid and successful but not fat and successsful), u were worthy if you were thin. Interesting my fathers family wasn’t this way but my mothers was. I believed her more. I take your challenge Pat, I am releasing these beliefs.

  4. Allie says:

    My message? Nothing else matters if you are fat. Like fat wipes out all accomplishments, deeds, life wishes. Release release.

  5. Tonya says:

    I did or didn’t get a love message. I’m not sure. Get a hold of this one – I will love you if you are not fat. From mom, dad, brothers, most men I’ve known. Tell me how to release that one!

    • Pat Barone says:

      So Tonya, how hard have you been insisting you don’t care if anyone loves you? Do you believe you are lovable AND overweight? Or have you been in everyone’s face, showing them you are not going to be slim, just to spite them?

  6. Tonya says:

    oh, you know it. And just thinking about it, I’ve beenreally angry about this. IF someone does care, I believe they don’t. If they don’t, I believe I don’t care they don’t. Not sure any of it is true. I’ve had so many people put me on a diet, I can’t count em. then i get p.o., pick a fight, move on.Most of the time i’m sick of everybodys opinion.

    • Pat Barone says:

      It’s a tough spot to be in but most of us get into “double binds” like this, we are damned if we care and damned if we don’t care about getting to a healthy weight. As a result, NOTHING HAPPENS. I hope you can release this one, Tonya. It sounds like a big one that’s had quite an impact on you and your life.

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