All the self-help books and advice, all the therapy and support groups, even the most fabulous, successful career in the world won't really help at all--until we learn to love ourselves. In Loving Yourself, Daphne Kingma claims that until we practice loving ourselvesand it takes a lot of practicewe will never be able to love others fully and completely. She writes, "When we haven't learned how to love ourselves well, we keep getting stuck on this simple first rung of the laddernot knowing how or how well to treat others, having problems with what we call boundaries, stumbling in the swamps of low self-esteem and thickets of self-loathing that derail us in our efforts to 'love others as we love ourselves'." For so many of us, loving ourselves is our greatest emotional problem. Kingma points out that selflove is not narcissism, egotism, greed, self-righteousness, self-involvement, stubbornness, or conceit--all of which have given genuine selflove a bad name. "Rather, it is the singing spring from which we become who we were--each one of usmost truly meant to be."
Reading Loving Yourself, the reader takes a journey to their selves--a journey of how they lost their selves, and thereby their ability to love their selves. Kingma names six life themes including abandonment, neglect, and abuse that help readers identify themes in their lives and decide what to do with these themes as they discover them.
No matter what the reader's wound or life story is, Kingma shows--with gentle patience and intelligent advice--how each of us can start to love ourselves through a simple fourstep process:
- Speaking out of our heart's desires
- Acting out to meet them
- Clearing out old patterns
- Setting out on a new path