4 Steps to Giving Yourself the Love You Never Got

4 Steps to Giving Yourself the Love You Never Got

“Those who know the secret of love know the greatest secret of life.”

- Osho

Even before I was born, I knew that my parents did not want me. They were having yet another child, the 5th, and financial strains would only grow.

They found it hard to love me. My father came from a male dominated society and what he truly desired was to have a son. My mother had been the victim of both sexual and physical abuse as a child and real love was a foreign concept to her.

They were both sent to harsh boarding schools far away from home when they were only 6 years old and only saw their families once per year. If they were lucky, their parents would write them an occasional letter.

When I think about the cold world that my parents came from and how much affection they managed to give to us children, I marvel at their courage.

My mother always made sure she cooked us healthy food, played with us and our home was always clean. She would ‘do’ anything for us, yet she could not give it from the heart. That feeling, that love, just was not there for her to offer. She tried so hard to feel it, but she just could not find the connection with love.

My father fought very hard to provide for us financially. No matter what, any money that was earned was always spent on us children in order to give us the best opportunities in life. I have never known any person fight as hard for anything as he did for us. Yet no matter how much he tried, his face would never light up as brightly as when he saw my brother; his world was filled with joy because he had a son.

I grew up never understanding what was wrong with me and why they never really loved me. All I knew was that something about me must be ‘broken’ or ‘not quite right’. As if they made a mistake when they made me.

Subconsciously, everything I did became about trying to earn their love. My mission was to be the perfect child and I became obssessed with never doing anything wrong. My sensitivity to others and my environment was heightened in order for me to always ensure that I pleased everyone. I persistently sought acknowledgement and approval.

As an adult, my world reflected my inner belief ‘I am not lovable’. I deliberately chose men who treated me badly. I worked in jobs I did not enjoy. I found fault in my friendships and abruptly ended them. I took drugs to escape my pain. I cut myself. I looked at my life and I saw despair, neverending turmoil and self-hatred.

Eventually I hit rock bottom and I had a nervous breakdown.

And then something miraculous happened.

I heard a voice from deep within me saying that there was hope. That I could have a beautiful life filled with abundant love for myself and others.

I have been listening to that voice ever since.

I have been on a powerful journey through many a peak and trough, with my inner voice of wisdom to guide me, and I have dedicated myself fully to the art of self-love and creating a life that I love.

4 Steps To The Giving Yourself The Love You Never Got

For all those that have become disconnected in this lifetime with the love that they completely deserve, I will share with you some important truths that I know helped me to realise my connection again.

1. Give yourself the love

No one and nothing can ever give you the love you have always seeked. Only you can give yourself the love that you never got and that you still yearn for.

You have a light of love brighter than you could ever imagine deep within the centre of your being. This love is your connection to Source, to who you fundamentally are, and the supply is infinite.

Once you begin connecting with this love, you will be in awe of its radiance and you will understand that all the love that you need is already within you.

2. Heal your past

You cannot change the past and you don’t need to. All you need to do is to accept it and let it go. By releasing resentment, blame, judgement and anger around the past, you allow yourself the opportunity to make peace with it and you set yourself free.

You can give the child in you all the love that it always yearned for. You can be the parent you never had. There is no place in you, no matter how sad, lonely or tormented, that love cannot heal.

Love is singularly the greatest force there is.

3. Practise loving yourself

Self-love does not come in the form of a luxury parcel that you one day receive at your door and then exclaim ‘now I finally love myself’! Rather, it is a practice that becomes your life.

When you practise the art of self-love you incorporate it into every single aspect of your day. From the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you go to sleep at night, you promise to love yourself in every way. You dedicate time daily to expressions of your self-love e.g. meditation, yoga, healthy eating, enough sleep.

Self-love is a commitment that you make to yourself in exchange for a lifetime of joyful, abundant living.

4. Continuously choose self-love

Old negative beliefs systems that have formulated as a result of your childhood can seem hard-wired into the brain. These negative thoughts about yourself e.g. I am not good enough, may even lead to unhealthy behaviours e.g. binge eating.

But you always have a choice. You are the director of the thoughts that take centre stage in your brain. You can always choose to think loving thoughts about yourself.

Even if you don’t know how to, even the slightest ‘willingness’ to see love will deliver it to you. The thought only needs to be ‘I am willing to love myself’ and the power of this intention will manifest itself fully in your consciousness.

A Happy Ending

On my own journey, as the love for myself has grown, the world has transformed before my eyes and my life has become miraculous.

I have forgiven and released my past, I take loving care of myself every day, I have a beautifully harmonious relationship, I have friendships that I treasure, I actively manifest my dreams, I follow my passion and I live my purpose.

I am testament to the fact that, no matter what, you have the power within you to transform your life. It all begins with you and loving yourself.

Can you imagine how it must feel to love yourself completely?

Photo by Shanon Wise

Jess Heslop

Jessica Heslop is a student of A Course In Miracles. She is the founder of Live The Life You Love, which supports others to live a life filled with authenticity, abundance, infinite love and joy. Hop on over there and you can get access to her highly regarded A Guided Meditation On Love And Loving You.

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37 Comments

  1. Jess,

    So beautifully said. So important to keep in touch with that inner voice and to love ourselves.

    Susan

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the comment Susan. Yes, our inner voice is a powerful guide and, if we listen to it, it can lead us to a life that we would truly love.

    With love
    Jess

    Reply
  3. This article makes me think of something I once heard Zig Ziglar say:

    “Don’t seek a friend, seek to be a friend”

    That sounds like what you have been doing: instead of looking for love you started to become love. Inspiring to see how you have learned to deal with your situation.

    Thanks!
    Steve

    Reply
    • Thanks Steve :-) It’s amazing how life transforms when you really begin to know love for yourself. As you said, you become the energy of love and it is beautiful when you get to share that with the world.

      Love to you!
      Jess

      Reply
  4. Such a brave post, Jess. I admire your post and love the reminder that REGARDLESS of what we’ve all been through, our lives improve with a daily dose of love — to ourselves and to others. However, we can’t truly love anyone else until we love ourselves. Thanks…

    Reply
    • Thanks Marcy – your beautiful comment means so much to me. Indeed, love is such a powerful force!

      With love
      Jess

      Reply
      • Thanks for responding, Jess. You look quite young in your photo. I’m sorry for your unhappy childhood, but you’re actually much wiser than many folks I know twice your age. Kudos to your courage to dig deeper to find healthier solutions to your pain + sharing your experience with others.

        Reply
        • Thank you again for another open-hearted, genuine comment Marcy. I am still young – 28. I feel truly blessed to have the life I now have and know that, if I can do it, anyone can! I’m sending you bright blessings of love… Jess

          Reply
  5. Hi Jess,
    What great courage you have! Turning your life around is no small feat and even more difficult is loving yourself. I know I have been there.

    You words are an inspiration and guide for all of us. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Carolynne…. As you know, transforming your life starts with a little step. Taking one day at a time and practising self-love every day can make magical things happen.

      So much love and blessings to you,
      Jess

      Reply
  6. This is so powerful! Thank you for sharing. It resonated deeply with me, gave me hope (as I desperately need hope now), and has changed my perspective. I need to love myself in a deeper way. I can finally see myself free from the need to please others and the need for perfection. A new day is dawning. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Absolutely Kelli! You are perfect exactly as you are and you are loveable exactly as you are…. A beautiful miracle is dawning for you – I can feel it!

      With so much love
      Jess

      Reply
  7. Thank you, Jess, for sharing such a beautiful, empowering and inspiring message.

    I feel your article has arrived serendipitously in my life, as I too am learning to embrace self-love. It is certainly invigorating to experience love from oneself without looking for approval and validation from external sources. You are a testament to the strength we all have within us and the power we all have to create the life we love.

    Reply
  8. yes 100 per cent get it we all look for love outside ourselves but we have to learn to love ourselves which for some people can be very hard if they never got it as a child I practice meditation but do not feel ever discovered this infinite love that you talk about

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for sharing Roderick. Sometimes when others speak of a profound love that they have for themselves it can make us believe that we are a million miles away from feeling what they do. But what you feel isn’t – you are still tapping into that infinite source of love and simply need to open yourself up a little more every day to experiencing the fullness of it. It starts with a faint glimmer, a light flutter in our heart and, as we nurture it, it grows… Nurture what you already feel and I promise it will flourish.

      With love
      Jess

      Reply
  9. It is a beautiful journey that you are beginning to embark on Emily, and one that will pay dividends beyond your wildest dreams. I am excited for you to learn and come to feel just how powerful the love you can have for yourself is – it is marvelous! No one can accept and love you like you can :-)

    With infinite love
    Jess

    Reply
  10. Jess, thank you for the article. It’s very inspirational. But unfortunately no more than that. It doesn’t say “How?” Again and again I hear: “Love yourself! Love yourself!” Those are just words and emotions. What exactly should I do to overcome years of not loving myself? I can’t see it from the article. I am really happy that you was able to find love inside yourself. Now please help us – at least share your everyday experience.

    Reply
    • I hear you Valentina. Those words ‘love yourself’ are indeed just words in themselves – it is important to know how to actually put them into practice. The best place to start is to ask yourself if you know what love feels like. Have you ever felt love for another person, animal or place? As you connect to that love, you will feel a sensation somewhere in your body. Perhaps a tingling, a warm glow in your heart or something else?

      Once you know what the sensation of love feels like, breathe into it and allow yourself to be immersed in the sensation. Enjoy the experience and notice how your spirit feels. Light? Joyful? As you do this, imagine that you are projecting that love onto yourself – to every part of your body and to your spirit.

      The more you practise this, you more intense the sensation of love will become in your body and the more easily you will be able to connect with this love throughout the day. It all starts with the faintest, lightest feeling of warmth in your heart (or something like that) and it grows….

      Essentially it is the journey of a lifetime and, like all journeys, it starts with a tiny step.

      With love
      Jess

      Reply
  11. Hi jess, I’m very glad to read your post. I liked the things you mentioned about love is connection to source and love starts from within. I’m glad to let you know that your article have shifted my attention to self love once again. But it was absolutely delight to know that you have this wisdom at your age. I’m not stranger to the fact that pain gives wisdom but I’m glad that you incorporated it in your life. Not all people get such lifetimes and out of those who get many are broken and give up on life, it takes lots of courage and bravery to get pass this turmoil, I know it. This is just a single fact of all, hope you get opportunities to explore and understand the truths of existance.
    Darshan

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your comment Darshan. Your words mean so much to me.

      What you said reminded me of a quote “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ―Khalil Gibran

      Sending you love
      Jess

      Reply
  12. Thank you Jess for sharing.

    I must say this has been very helpful for me. I have been going through a rough patch and my God, it is turning me into a stranger to myself.

    I have been so consumed in thinking about the whole mess that I have totally forgotten to love myself. Deep down I know I should let go of the uncontrollable and concentrate on what is in my control but somehow I haven’t.

    When I read this, I realised that choosing to love myself is the one thing right now that I have control over and I am going to do just that. No more obsessing. Going to be a little bit more selfish and take care of me. My heart needs it.

    What’s funny is that i have always put self-love first but this time around everything kind of went out the window. :-)

    Thank you for reminding me. :-)

    Reply
    • That can happen from time to time – it’s all about bringing your focus back to yourself and love.

      No matter what storm thunders in your world, you can steady yourself by turning within, connecting to your heart and feeling that powerful love inside you. You may even find that, in doing this, the storm dwindles….

      I send you so much love to wrap you up safely. Remember…. All Is Well.

      Jess

      Reply
  13. Beautiful blog with a profound message, Jess. Your beautiful face says it all. You deserve to love yourself. We project outside what we feel inside. If I am sad and depressed, I send similar vibrations to others I meet. If I hate myself, chances of loving others are bleak. I am responsible to myself, to the person I know intimately. If I get love in return, fine, if not , the reliable source of love is in me. I believe the cosmos reflects back love if it is directed to it , hence I draw love from the primordial Source. It is good to believe that there is God. He will not fail me.

    Reply
  14. You are so right! Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world and our beliefs. There is no end to the remarkable creations of positivity we can manifest in our lives and it all begins with loving ourselves.

    Thank you so much for you beautiful comment Mahavir…

    With love
    Jess

    Reply
  15. Jess, I agree that self love is important. I also believe that God is love, and if you know love you know God. Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, basically everything you have! Love love with love! Then love others like you love yourself! It ripples in power and changes lives! The love God gives us within overflows and never ends! Love is the answer to the knock at the door! Thank you for the reminder to focus on The Lord of Love!

    Reply
    • I really agree. We are all connected to the divine because we are the divine. Once we see the divinity within us, we reveal that infinite source of love to ourselves and the world.

      Sending you love!
      Jess

      Reply
  16. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been miserable for a really long time, depressed over the fact that no matter what I did, I couldn’t make my parents happy. I did everything they asked of me, but it was never enough. I still hate myself for it.
    After reading your story, it gives me hope that maybe I can do better for myself. I really hope to love myself as absolutely as you love yourself.
    Thanks again!
    Arya

    Reply
    • You really can Arya. You deserve so much love and, if you are ready to begin the journey to love, you shall feel it for yourself and your world will transform. Rather than hate yourself, begin by being kind and gentle with yourself… Every day think thoughts that are gentle and incredibly kind about yourself.

      With love,
      Jess

      Reply
  17. Jess,

    Thanks so much for a vulnerable story about your journey to healing. I could relate so much with the emptiness of not ever have felt loved, valued or cherished.

    It took me many years to have compassion for my parents and to understand that they gave me all they were able to give me. When we humans are forced to either self-destruct or find a healing path, we must embrace self worth and self love and we learned that through healing our past.

    Self love is easy when I am surrounded by people who love and value me. The challenge comes when someone, especially a family member or a close friend, criticizes me. I begin to wonder what I have done wrong. It is as if I jump off of my “wagon of self-love” and follow the thoughts and feelings of someone else. I begin to believe what they say or what they believe about me.

    That is where number 3 and number 4 of your list of self-love come in handy for me. I have to recognize that I have abandoned my self-love practice and of course, begin to practice it again and again.

    Number 4 to continue to choose is twofold for me. First when I have jumped off my “wagon” of self love and following someone who finds fault with me, I must stop and begin to practice. When I am at a crossroads when I must to choose either self-love or to abandon myself, I must continue to choose self love.

    Thank you again, I am humbled by your concise guidance.

    Reply
  18. Thank you for your gorgeous comment Pamela. This happens to me too and I used to panic and think ‘Oh no! All the work I have done on loving myself has not made a difference – I am still affected by these people’. But now I see it in a different way. Now I see that every person in my life that brings up any feelings of self-hatred or thoughts that I am not good enough are in fact a blessing. They are a blessing because they hold a mirror up for me on areas that still need healing within me, so that I can heal even more and therefore expand my capacity for love (and therefore joy and abundance). Sometimes, part of expanding that love for myself, is to put down clear boundaries with those people i.e. consciously make a choice not to let their ‘stuff’ affect me.

    With love
    Jess

    Reply
  19. Wonderful story! I am very happy that you were able to escape your past and break free from all that pain you were experiencing. Love yourself, words to live by. Thanks for sharing your experiences to help others realize that you can have a wonderful life and to start off is to love yourself.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Lynne. I feel so blessed to be given such a beautiful comment.

      Sending you infinite love!
      Jess

      Reply
  20. This is so incredible I have the utmost respects for you thank you so much for posting this it helped me in ways I can’t describe

    Reply
    • What a heart-felt comment Steph. It really filled me with joy! Thank you for your open heart.

      With love
      Jess

      Reply
  21. Thanks Jess :) for sharing your personal life , i could relate with it like never before
    We got similar story and yes i was already following most of what you wrote but your article was a real reminder . 3 cheers for the subject of the article “4 Steps to Giving Yourself the Love You Never Got” .And you wrote my favorite person’s Saying and he is OSHO .

    Thanks again . I felt touched and happy to read it .

    Reply
  22. After reading your article even I started loving you. Nice article. I’ve always been very critical of myself and dont easily forgive myself for even small mistakes I make. I’ll now start practicing the art of self-love. Thanks for the how-to. Love you Jess :)

    Reply
  23. Perhaps your parents express love in a different way from what you perceive as love. Let’s take your mum for example. You say that she cooked you healthy food, played with you and your home was always clean – she would ‘do’ anything for you, and that is probably how she expressed her love for you – through doing things for you. But because you perceive love as being love when, let’s say, someone tells you they love you, you don’t recognize that someone doing things for you is their way of showing you they love you. I would recommend reading Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages.

    Reply

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