An Important Question
Debbie Ford

The question "Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?" is one you must consistently ask yourself if you are committed to having all that you want and all that you deserve.  When you love yourself you feel worthy and deserving of claiming the gifts of this world.  Self-love gives you peace of mind and balance.  Self-love gives you self-respect and the ability to respect others.  It gives you the confidence to stand up and ask for what you want.  Self-love is the main ingredient in a successful, fulfilled life.

I believe that loving who we are is one of the most difficult yet vitally important tasks that each of us is given in this lifetime.  Loving ourselves means loving all of who we are--the brilliant and beautiful, the flawed and foolish, the selfless and self-absorbed, the courageous and fearful.  It means loving, honoring, and accepting the totality of our humanity.  It means cherishing ourselves and appreciating our individuality and our uniqueness.  When we choose self-love, we claim our greatness.  When we love ourselves, we accept ourselves as a brilliant piece of architecture that is whole unto itself rather than a project under construction that constantly needs to be fixed, changed, and rebuilt.

Loving ourselves means loving what we believe, loving where we came from, loving our quirks and handicaps.  Each of us comes into this world with particular sets of strengths and weaknesses, and since these aspects of ourselves are more than likely not going to go away, our job is to embrace them all by finding compassion and understanding for the imperfections in our human selves.

Self-love makes us acutely aware of our own needs and supports us in doing whatever it takes to meet these needs on a regular basis.  When we love ourselves fully and freely, something magical happens.  We teach others, without using words, how to love themselves.  We become models of self-love--for our children, our family members, our friends, and our communities.  We teach them not only that self-love is a good choice to make, but that t is really the only choice.  When we give ourselves the gift of self-love, all those around us are touched in our presence and feel deeper levels of love for themselves.  Most important, when we love ourselves, we freely allow ourselves to experience the joys and gifts of this world. . . .

When we engage in self-sabotaging behaviors, we are choosing from our lowest selves rather than our highest.  We allow unhealthy underlying commitments to direct us away from our desired destinations.  Consequently, we go through our days in a state of distress and unease.  When we are self-sabotaging, when we deny ourselves our own love, we are scared to death of what other people think of us.  We become masters of disguise, always trying to conceal the things we hate about ourselves.  We give off the message to those around us that not only don't we matter, but they don't matter, either.  When we are self-sabotaging, we deny ourselves the right to have what we want and we unconsciously give other people the false perception that it's okay to deprive themselves of their dreams, too. . . .

What if attaining happiness and fulfillment was as simple as going to bed at night after making a list of all the things you did that day that fed your self-esteem and waking up the next morning asking yourself, "How am I going to love and honor myself today?"  What if the message of all the ancient gurus, the spiritual teachings, the self-help books, and all the transformational techniques we've created came down to teaching us how to give ourselves the love we try to get from others?  What if all there is to do is to love ourselves completely and make new choices today, choices that are an expression of self-love?  Before making a choice, ask yourself, "Would someone who loves themselves make this choice?  Is this action an expression of someone who honors and cherished themselves?"  Both of these questions will bring you back to the simple question, "Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?" 

The realities of the life we live today are a result of the choices we made yesterday, three months ago and three years ago. But we don't wind up $50,000 dollars in debt because of one extravagant purchase. Nor do we put on 30 unwanted pounds as a result of a couple of decadent meals. We are where we are because of repeated unconscious choices made day after day. Ford cuts right through our denial with the 10 questions that immediately reveal the true motivations behind our thoughts and actions. But more than that, by rigorously and honestly asking and answering these 10 vital questions, we regain control and have the power necessary to create the life we always wanted.


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