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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself By: Sandra Dawson, MA, MFT America’s Most Loving Relationship Expert http://www.FallMadlyInLoveWithYourself.com Copyright © 2007 Sandra Dawson, MA, MFT All Rights Reserved

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HowtoFallMadlyinLove withYourselfBy:SandraDawson,MA,MFT

AmericasMostLovingRelationshipExpert http://www.FallMadlyInLoveWithYourself.com Copyright2007SandraDawson,MA,MFT AllRightsReserved

How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

By Sandra Dawson

Advice For Love Relationships

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Copyright NoticeAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical. Any unauthorized use, sharing, reproduction, or distribution is strictly prohibited.

Legal NoticeWhile attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibilities for errors, omissions, or contradictory information contained herein. This book is not intended to be psychotherapy. The purchaser or reader of this book assumes all responsibility for the use of this information and materials. Sandra Dawson, MA, MFT or the Institute for Self-Love assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever on behalf of any purchaser or reader of these materials.

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Forward: How to Use this eBook Chapter One: Chapter Two: Chapter Three: Chapter Four: Chapter Five: Chapter Six: Chapter Seven: Chapter Eight: Chapter Nine: Chapter Ten: Chapter Eleven: Chapter Twelve: Journey to Self-Love. 2 Why You Lack Self-Love..........................6 Motivating Yourself to Change........9 Change is Your Friend..13 Loving Yourself Unconditionally...19 Taking Responsibility for Your Own Life.23 Becoming a Self-Nurturing Person28 Your Roadmap to Success..30 Setting Goals for Your Personal Growth.38 Writing Your Mini-Autobiography....47 Addressing Causes of Problems..54 Changing Ego-States57

Table of Contents

Chapter Thirteen: Committing to New Behaviors...66 Chapter Fourteen: Your Self-Love System in Action. 70 Chapter Fifteen: Celebrating Your Successes.81

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FORWARDHow to Use this eBookHow to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself is a system of change that I have created for you. My recommendation is that you first read the whole book, with one small exception, and then go back to Goal Setting for Your Personal Growth and start working on the exercises. The one exception is writing the first 5 years of your life, mini-autobiography. If you have questions along the way, you can reach me at:

www.fallmadlyinlovewithyourself.com

About Sandra Dawson, MAFor the past 9 years, I have been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and in February of 2008, I moved to New York to join my daughter and her family. Very soon I will be licensed in New York as a Marriage and Family Therapist as well. My new business name in New York is Institute for Self-Love. Before becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist, I was a personal growth trainer for corporations like ITT, Hughes Aircraft, GUESS?, LA Times, Clinishare, and Northrop. My passion is helping human beings to love themselves 100%

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Chapter 1 Journey to Self-LoveCongratulations, you have chosen to give yourself the most wonderful gift you could ever give yourself. The purpose of How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself is to guide you to loving and accepting yourself 100%. I know you can love and accept yourself 100%, because I have learned to do this myself.

You may be wondering, why can you succeed just because I have? This is a great question!

The answer is that my self-love was so low at one point in my life that I was considering suicide to escape from the pain I was in. I also had a very strong desire to live and enjoy life. So, while I knew I had a problem, I made it my lifes purpose to figure out how to love and accept myself so that the pain would go away. I thought that I wouldnt have to leave this wonderful world to get the relief I so desperately needed, if I could learn to love myself. I was right. Loving yourself is necessary to have positive feelings about yourself. You know that is true, and that is why you are motivated to change the negative patterns in your life to positive ones. Honor your strong desire to live and enjoy life. Dont let anyone talk you out of experiencing the happiness you deserve to have. Copyright 2007 2

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I now love myself and want to show you How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself. This is my lifes purpose and I am an expert at helping people learn to love themselves. You can succeed. I know you can. Every human being has the ability to love and accept themselves 100%, if they will learn how. I will show you how. If you are in great pain right now, I want to assure you that you can work through that pain and learn to love yourself. When you love and accept yourself, your daily experience of life is one of joy and excitement. You deserve to experience joy and excitement! You have been living with much pain for a long time, but this pain can stop the instant you decide you are lovable and ok. I will show you how to make positive decisions about yourself. I will guide you the whole way, and you will succeed. If your pain feels unbearable, please seek help. You may need to be in psychotherapy, or you can contact me for coaching. It is important to know that many people are on the same journey to selflove that you are on. You are not alone. You feel all alone, because the lack of self-love leaves you isolated and feeling unworthy of love from others. Lets end this pain you are going through, and work together to realize all of your dreams in life. They can all come true, when you love and accept yourself.

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This is the book I wish I could have read when I embarked on my own path to self-love.You will learn everything you need to learn to understand what you need to do, and how to do it. You will ultimately recover your true self, and you will get back on the path you are meant to be on, to fulfill your purpose in life. I am honored to be helping you. How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself is all about recovering your true self. Your true self always knows what you are feeling, thinking and wanting. Your true self spontaneously and freely asks to have your needs met. What would your life be like right now, if you knew what you wanted, how you were feeling and what your thoughts truly were? Wouldnt it be quite different? Wouldnt you be happy and fulfilled? Isnt this the basis of happiness and fulfillment.meeting your needs? The answer is a big yes! To embark on a path to true self-love is a big step to take. This is why congratulations are in order for you. I feel blessed that I have arrived myself at a time and place to put my learning experiences into a written form to pass my knowledge on to you, so you may speed up your growth and have as many years as possible of true joy and love. Thats why I say I wish this book had been available to me when I started my journey. I wanted to grow to love myself much faster than I was able to. I was in pain, and I wanted to be out of pain, fast! Fast wasnt possible, because all the information I needed was not in one place. All the

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information you need is now in one place in How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself. Yes, I am very grateful that I love myself now, but a treasured part of my gift to you and your growth is your ability to make very positive changes in less time. I want to work with you. I also want to help you make the changes you need to make as quickly as you would like. Lets get going. You deserve to love yourself and I will show you how, starting now. Whatever you want for yourself today can be yours, and it will be yours, as long as you work on loving yourself. Are you willing to let go of the negative beliefs and self-talk that you use to discount and demean yourself, even if you arent aware of what your internal dialogue is at this very moment? Your answer must be yes, since you are reading my ebook, How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself. I know you want to value yourself, your talents, and not obscure your true nature any more. Lets work together on your journey to self-love.

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Chapter 2 Why You Lack Self-LoveI would never have known the true joy of love and life had I not pursued my own path. It is a tragedy to miss out on living a life that is true to yourself. So many people are lost and unhappy. So many people are living lives that were taught to them by parents who didnt know any better. So many people lack self-love. If you are not realizing your talents and full potential for love and self-development, you are going to feel deeply unhappy and confused. What a tragedy when any human being fails to realize his or her true self. If you start off in great pain, and end in great pain, you never get to experience the true joy of love and life. While this kind of tragedy is occurring every day on our planet, it is not the true order of things. And it is not what you want for your life. I know that, because you are reading, How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself. The true order of things is parents and primary caregivers who teach us how to love ourselves. They are capable of teaching us, because they know how to love themselves. What so many of us have been so deeply affected by is the fact that many past generations have not been taught to love themselves, and because of this, our parents could not teach us.

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You, like all human beings have learned to be who you are during your early years of development through interactions with your parents. You depended upon them to survive. They were the most important people in your life. That wasnt an illusion. Children cannot survive without caregivers. You needed parents or primary caregivers, who could teach you how to love yourself, but they didnt know how to do that for themselves, so they could not teach you.

No Child can Grow and Develop All AloneYou therefore had to do it their way, no matter how unloving their way may have been at the time. The good news is now you dont have to do it their way. You can change. You can love yourself and undo the negatives you learned as a child. You can learn about the process of change and apply it to your life, so you can experience joy and excitement every day. If you were criticized frequently as a child, you have taken in those negative messages and you have created a life that is true to them. If you were told you are not smart, over and over, no matter how well you did in school, you will believe you are not smart until you make a decision to change that belief. If you were told you were fat over and over and not shown ways to be thinner, you will believe you are supposed to be fat, and you will behave in ways to maintain that state of being. When you maintain a state of being that you were taught as a child, you are also unconsciously maintaining a bond with your parents. If you do what they tell you to do, even now as an adult, you earn their approval Copyright 2007 7

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unconsciously, and with that approval comes a feeling of closeness and connection. Its a positive feeling. As a child you could not survive without that bond. What you need to learn now is that you can survive without that bond to an unhealthy parent. Instead, what you really need is a warm bond with yourself, and thats what I will be helping you to develop.

In SummaryYou do not need to depend upon your parents or primary caregivers any longer, now that you are an adult. You can become aware of the negative conditions of your childhood, and change the negative beliefs you developed to positive beliefs. You can do this by using my process of change, which I will guide you through. The steps include becoming aware of negative beliefs and behaviors, grieving your losses, expressing your feelings and re-deciding that you are okay in any way you want to believe. There are obstacles to achieving success. I will be helping you to identifying your obstacles so you can remove and move on in your life.

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Chapter 3 Motivating Yourself to ChangeThe best way to motivate yourself to change is to imagine the negative consequences you will experience or that you will continue to experience in your life, if you dont change. Heres an example of how imagining the worst outcome can motivate you. When I was in my twenties, I was a smoker. I wanted to stop, because my father died of lung cancer. I stopped and started smoking again and again, so many times, that my friends were convinced I would never succeed. Then I started imagining myself with cancer. I saw myself in the hospital dying. This picture of me having cancer was so terrifying, it motivated me to stop smoking. I was finally successful. I set goals for myself. I made lots of little new decisions about smoking. New decisions, like: I didnt need to smoke when I drank a cup of coffee. I could enjoy a glass of wine without smoking. I could be around others who smoked and not indulge myself. I could replace my unhealthy habit with a healthy one, like breathing deeply doing yoga. When you make new, positive decisions about yourself, you will succeed at making the changes you desire.

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If you take a moment now to imagine what your life will be like if you dont fall madly in love with yourself, you will be motivated to make new decisions about yourself and your behavior. I know you want the best for yourself. That is why you are reading How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself. You will succeed. I will be showing you how, and helping you with every step along the way. My process of change for you will guide our work together. First you will become aware of a problem you are having. Then you will explore your personal history to discover the roots of your problem. Confronting yourself with information will help you overcome your natural tendency to deny any negatives in your past. Reading How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself will help you confront yourself with information. I will be here to help support you while you deal with your past. You will explore your options, and commit to new behaviors and beliefs. Before you know it, you will be living your dream life.

Human Beings are Highly Motivated to Avoid PainThe principle here that underlies success in accomplishing difficult emotional goals is that as a human being, you are more motivated to avoid pain than you are motivated to seek pleasure. This doesnt mean that motivating yourself by imagining pleasure wont work. It will also work.

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But it does mean that imagining painful consequences can be more motivating, than imagining pleasurable outcomes. If you find that other methods are not working to keep you motivated to make changes you really want to make, it will be time for you to employ imagining the worst possible outcome. Since the worst could actually happen, you will be motivated to make the changes necessary to avoid having to experience this negative outcome. This is a smart technique to use to get you to make important changes in your life.

Re-deciding Is Also ImportantWhat is re-deciding? Re-deciding is changing negative beliefs or behaviors to positive ones. You cant just think about positive beliefs or positive behaviors and succeed at making changes in your life. You must actually change your beliefs and/or behaviors. To change them is a choice you make. Re-deciding will be critical for you in order to make lasting changes. I will be helping you in many, many, many ways to re-decide that you are okay, to create new positive rules to live by, and to change negative behaviors to positive ones. I will be helping you to raise your awareness of the possible causes of your problems, and I will help motivate you to solve the problems you identify. Its important that you have help to solve each and every one of your problems. Im an expert at solving problems, and Im passionate about helping people to enjoy enhanced self-love along with the peace and

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contentment that comes from it. I am here to help you. Dont hesitate to reach out for support. I am here to help you increase your awareness of your problems, your motivation to change, and your ability to re-decide who you really are. You are doing a great job, and you have the potential to grow, if that is what you want to do. Growth is infinite for all of us.

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Chapter 4 Change is Your FriendChange is part of life, and if you observe reality, you will see it everywhere. Since reality is your best friend, that makes change, at the very least, your friend. Human beings have been adapting to changes on the planet earth for millions of years. You are very capable of making changes. You may not enjoy the feelings that you must deal with when you decide to make changes, but I am sure you do enjoy the positive outcomes you achieve. And when you get good at making changes in your personal life, you will start to accept all the discomfort as part of a truly enjoyable life.

Awareness is the first step in the process of change.Are you aware of what has happened to you? Do you know your personal history well enough to understand why you do not love yourself today? With awareness of your past, you will learn what you need to change today to enjoy loving yourself, and to enjoy all of the benefits that come from accepting and loving your true self, like successful love relationships and fulfilling careers.

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Exploring Your OptionsI want to make the process of change as comfortable as possible for you. With support, you will be able to deal with your resistance to change. You will feel anger, fear, sadness, blame and sometimes apathy as you explore your personal history. You will feel anger as you truly realize how you have been prevented from becoming your wonderful, capable, lovable true self. I understand and accept anger as part of your growth. Anger does not make you a bad person. It makes you a full human being. Anger is necessary to survive as a human being on this planet. Anger is truly simply feedback from our bodies telling us that we are not getting something that we need and want. Anger generates energy in your body so that you can solve the problem you are having. Anger is meant to be used to solve problems, not to hurt yourself or others. You will learn to use your anger to guide you to greater self-love. Anger is not supposed to be denied. It is supposed to be supported and used to figure out what is the best way to solve your current problem. Lets say you go to school every day and the kids make fun of who you are. You are different from the other kids in some way that you cannot change. You may have dark skin. You may be a different nationality. You may be smarter. You may be prettier. No matter how you are different, you want Copyright 2007 14

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to be treated with respect and acceptance, but you are made fun of instead. Natural feelings in this situation are sadness for loss of acceptance, and anger, because you are not getting what you want, and fear because each day it may happen again. Now imagine you go home, and you are told that you should not be angry or you are told to not listen to the kids. Or you are told to ignore them or say mean things back to them. None of these behaviors resolves the issue of your self-acceptance and self-worth. With continual put downs, you are going to start believing that something is wrong with you. You are born with DNA that will motivate you to wanting to believe you are okay. If your parents or primary caregivers do not understand that you need a positive, supportive environment to continue to believe you are okay, you will suffer in this situation. Your anger, which was needed to solve the problem, is repressed and you are then left thinking there is something wrong with you, because of the way you are being treated.

It is not true. You are wonderful and lovable for being exactly who you are. No one should have been allowed to mistreat you. Your parents needed training in encouraging you to use the energy from your anger to hold onto your positive beliefs about yourself in your negative situation. Your parents should have also gotten you out of this situation as quickly as possible. That would have been teaching you how to love yourself. Copyright 2007 15

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If you were taken out of this emotionally abusive situation, you would have learned to leave negative environments. Instead, you may have learned to stay and put up with negative put downs. Your ability to love yourself will suffer with an emotionally abusive environment, and lack of proper parental support. This is just one example of many ways you could have learned how to not to love yourself.

Identifying What You Want to ChangeAs an adult you first become aware of the causes of the problems in your life. The second step is identifying what you want to change. When you decide to confront your childhood abuse, you now can explore new options such as loving yourself. You can explore speaking up to people who abuse you, like saying stop. You can deal with your self-doubt and discover that you always knew what was healthy for you. You get to decide what you want to change. I will recommend that you change negative beliefs that you learned, and that you change negative behaviors that reinforce those beliefs. Can you now see how Change is Your Friend? Because you were born with the ability to change, you are not stuck with a negative, unfulfilling life. You can explore it, and make whatever changes you decide will be best for you.

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The Process of ChangeIn the process of change, you will need to grieve losses in your life, so a big part of change is letting go and accepting new and better ideas and behaviors. When you identify something you want to change, you will automatically be dealing with sadness. You will need to grieve your losses and work through your thoughts and feelings to arrive at a place of selfacceptance and acceptance of what once was. Some of you will be able to do this on your own, with the support of family and friends. Others will need support. Asking for support may feel shameful to you. If it is shameful for you to ask, ironically, that is more of a reason for you to reach out and ask for some support. No human being becomes all they can be without the help of other human beings. Support is natural and you should be expecting it. So please find someone who is willing to nurture and support your growth.

Why Sandra Dawson is Here to Support YouJust like surviving childhood alone is not possible, dealing with your feelings alone is not recommended. I am here to coach you step by step in

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself, and I am available to talk with you at any time you want and need support as your Relationship Coach. If you are in therapy, please talk with your therapist about everything you are learning. You need a warm and accepting environment to recover from your dysfunctional and/or abusive childhood, and to make positive decisions about who you are. How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself will help you grow faster. Something is going on in your life right now which is motivating you to take a hard look at yourself. You probably didnt receive much support as a child. You may not even expect support now, but you do need it! Please know that support is necessary to recover and to fall madly in love with yourself. No one loves and accepts themselves without feeling love and acceptance from another person. It takes courage to open yourself up now to getting the validation and acceptance you never got. I am here to validate and accept you. It is my mission in life to help you believe in yourself, to expect the best and to get the best for yourself. If you are like me, and I think you are, you do not want your life to stay the way it is today. I am here to help you succeed. I believe in you and know you deserve to love and accept yourself 100%. I am here to support you as you work through How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself.

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Chapter 5 Loving Yourself UnconditionallyWe dont usually think about falling madly in love with ourselves do we? Some of you might feel lucky to even like yourself. I know this is a stretch, but it is a stretch that will bring you the peace and joy you have always wanted. I believe you have learned to demean and discount yourself and you can unlearn it. Loving yourself unconditionally will be an important part of your journey to self-love. Falling madly in love with yourself will keep you motivated to grow and heal yourself on your journey to self-love. This is the real deal. I have made the changes I am showing you how to make, and so have many, many clients of mine, so I know you can make them too.

Success in Love and LifeSuccess in love and life starts with loving yourself unconditionally and conditionally. For example, saying Im wonderful or Im important or Im smart are all statements that reflect self-love and the real you. If you cannot point to an accomplishment that proves you are smart, you should be able to believe you are smart unconditionally. Do you? If you have done something fabulous, maybe you will be able to believe you are smart, but in this case the belief is conditional. It is based on something you have done. It is perfectly okay to have conditional self-love, but it is not okay to lack unconditional self-love as well. Actually, both are necessary.

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You Learned How to Do ItMany of you have internalized negative messages like, youre selfish, youre bad, youll never amount to anything, youre stupid, or youre fat. This list could go on and on, and it usually does. You were constantly told that you needed to behave differently. Now youre the one who beats yourself up. You learned how to do it, and you are very good at it. And to make matters worse, at the same time you internalized these negative messages, you also made a lot of negative decisions about yourself. So now, due to this mistreatment of yourself, you are deeply alienated from your real self. Beliefs like, Im not good enough, or something is wrong with me, or Im not smart enough, or I cant do anything, or Im bad, or Im unlovable, or Im not pretty enough are keeping you stuck.

Cultural Messages Can Block You TooMany of you are also blocked from loving yourselves because of cultural messages you repeatedly heard. For example, you may have learned that being vulnerable is a negative thing in your family, and then it got reinforced socially. When your emotional safety is not protected or is shamed in any way, both at home or in school, you will lack trust in people. This lack of trust will lead you to isolate yourself from other people as a way to protect yourself from experiencing that pain again. Its

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emotionally painful to be criticized, made fun of and put down in any way. Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will hurt you too! You can grieve the loss of emotional safety, and ultimately accept the fact that you are vulnerable. You can grow to enjoy your vulnerability and be with other people who are emotionally safe to be with. Yes, you can find safe people to relate to, and learn what a wonderful feeling it is to fully express your real self again without being emotionally attacked or abused. You can finally be free to be you. And if you are put down, you can learn to ignore the content of any negative message, so that the arrow doesnt penetrate and hurt you. Loving yourself has the power to protect you from emotional adversity, and to allow you to assert yourself to take care of your needs under all circumstances. That includes positive and negative circumstances, alike.

You May Have a Distorted Perception of YourselfIf you didnt get positive feedback about your unique thoughts, talents, feelings, and wants from your family and your social environment growing up, then your self-image may be suffering. You may have a distorted perception or self-image of yourself. You can update your internal image of yourself, and learn to clearly see and accept your wonderful real self.

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Your negative beliefs are all false, but you dont know that yet. And they have immense power to keep you stuck in patterns of loveless relationships, boring jobs and a sense of hopelessness and fear about life in general. That is why they must go. And go they will by giving them up and learning to love yourself unconditionally and conditionally.

Loving Yourself UnconditionallyLoving yourself unconditionally means: accepting your innate uniqueness, your creativity, your intelligence, your curiosity, your intuition, your wisdom, your loving nature, your sense of humor, your playfulness, your spontaneity and your infinite potential to grow. You undoubtedly have lost your ability to love yourself unconditionally, so I am inviting you to reconsider that decision. It is not in your best interest to deprive yourself of unconditional self-love. Loving yourself conditionally means recognizing and valuing what you have learned and developed about yourself like learning to become an accountant, a baseball player, a great mom or dad, a musician, a hair stylist, a model, a comedian, a manager, an artist, a public speaker, an author or a teacher. Loving yourself conditionally is earned by you. You can be proud of your achievements, because you earned them, and you can be proud of your unconditional qualities simply because all human beings are born with them. You are no different, even if you feel like you are right now!

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Chapter 6 Taking Responsibility for Your Own LifeWhen you dont love yourself, you may blame others for the choices you have made as an adult, which is the opposite of taking responsibility for your own life. Some of you will do this, because your childhood was oppressive, and you will need to vent your anger in order to regain your power. Some of you will do this because your parents didnt understand or respect your boundaries. Instead they put unrealistic demands upon you and you never got to experience your need for freedom and independence. So now as an adult, you defer to others demands, and you find yourself furious at them for putting pressure on you. You arent furious with yourself for accepting these demands, but that is where your growth will take you. You will learn to take full responsibility for your feelings, your wants, your thoughts and your behavior.

Anger is a Stage of RecoveryIts important for you to recognize that your anger is a stage of recovery and that it eventually leads to forgiveness of yourself and others. Yes, you will need to forgive yourself for hurting yourself in any way as an adult, and ultimately, to accept responsibility for whatever actions you have taken. This doesnt mean your parents werent responsible for what they did, or

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that your society wasnt responsible either. Both failed you, and the truth of these failures cannot be discounted. Your growth now, however, is dependent upon regaining your power, and working on learning to take responsibility for every choice you make or have made as an adult. Taking responsibility will strengthen you and speed up your recovery. As an adult, you really want to be in charge of your destiny, because that is a human need. It is built into our genetic code to grow to become independent and self-responsible. If you currently feel stuck in a state of dependence and truly believe you are not responsible, this is a defense mechanism you have developed to cope with a childhood situation that prevented you from growing into your natural state of independence.

Denial is a Defense MechanismThe truth is that denying your past is affecting your present life is a defense mechanism, or denying you are responsible as an adult for your actions is also a defense mechanism. A defense mechanism is a false decision you make to protect yourself from negative feelings like sadness, fear and anger. It makes complete sense to use the defense mechanism of denial to block feeling sad, scared and angry as a child, because no one is there to comfort you when you have these feelings. Children need comfort to deal with intense, negative emotions. So you decide that feeling sad is not okay or that there is no such thing as sadness, and your decision blocks feeling sad. You decide feeling scared is not okay, Copyright 2007 24

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and again your decision blocks feeling scared. You decide anger is bad, and that decision blocks feeling angry. You decide you have no power, and therefore, you are not responsible. This blocks your feeling of powerlessness. All these decisions are untrue, but they work to protect you as a child.

Denial Really Works But Only for AwhileThe defense mechanism of denial really works. You will be protected from feeling these uncomfortable feelings. While you are young and dependent on others for your survival, denial will protect you. As an adult, your life will be disappointing to say the least if you hold onto your false beliefs about yourself and continue to deny the feelings that go along with these untrue beliefs. But something upsetting usually happens when you are an adult, that causes so much anger, sadness or fear that you no longer can deny your feelings, your past or your responsibility in creating your life. That is what happened to me. I denied my childhood until my first marriage ended. I didnt want my marriage to end, but my first husband abandoned me by having one affair after another. After two years of putting up with no relationship, I couldnt go along with the situation any longer. I wanted a divorce and that is what I got.

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When I moved into my new apartment as a single mom, the pain, and anger and fear of my repressed childhood experiences erupted. I actually couldnt stop crying when I was alone, and the level of anxiety I was experiencing was very high. All I knew before getting into therapy was that I hated my mom and dad, but I didnt know why until I started talking about my childhood history. Up until that time in my life, I had to deny my childhood, because it was so abusive. Denial protected me from all of the negative feelings of pain and fear I experienced when I was little. Denial was good for me as a child, but to recover and live a joyful, love-filled life, I needed to give up the defense mechanism of denial.

Idealizing Your Childhood is a Defense MechanismI also used the defense mechanism of thinking my childhood was ideal to protect myself from the fear and sadness that actually existed. When my first marriage ended, I could no longer deny the truth of those early years. Heres a quick summary of my childhood. My mother hated me and my father threatened my life until he died when I was 18. This is not an ideal childhood, and it was so painful and full of so much fear, that thinking it was a perfect childhood, helped to block the real feelings. In hindsight, it was a blessing, to have my feelings break through my defenses. Because I couldnt block my true feelings any longer, I had to

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work on healing my childhood wounds and learning to love myself. As a result, I now have a wonderful, loved-filled life that I never could have had, had I stayed in denial. If you are going through a crisis now, you have a great opportunity to heal your past and move forward. Falling madly in love with yourself is moving forward. Recognizing that you need to care more about yourself is brilliant on your part. Please dont give up no matter how hard it gets. You will succeed. You will turn your life around, and make it everything you want it to be.

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Chapter 7 Becoming a Self-Nurturing PersonWhen you succeed at falling madly in love with yourself, you will become a self-nurturing person. A self-nurturing person loves and accepts themselves unconditionally, takes care of all of their needs, and enjoys the balance of both giving and receiving love in their relationships. When you take care of your needs, you will manifest important qualities such as being self-accepting, self-responsible, action-oriented, expressive of your real self, and capable of self-soothing. Becoming a self-nurturing person is the goal of falling madly in love with yourself, and the benefits are unending. When you become a self-nurturing person and start taking care of all of your needs, you will fall madly in love with yourself. Why? Because this is how human beings have been created. We feel great pleasure when our needs are met. We have strong desires, and we feel strong emotions when our desires are fulfilled. When you anticipate that your needs are going to be met, you will feel intense pleasure. When you behave in a way that allows you to anticipate that your needs will be met on a regular basis, because you are committed to taking care of yourself, you will fall madly in love with yourself. You will

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be happy with yourself. You will feel proud of yourself, and you will feel strong and confident.

The Chemistry of AttractionFalling madly in love with yourself is based on the chemistry of attraction. You may not know this, but when you fall in love with another person, it is because you unconsciously believe that person is going to meet emotional needs that werent met for you when you were a young child. The chemistry of attraction is actually triggered by the expectation of your need satisfaction. The chemistry of attraction is another way of describing intense pleasure which is felt when you expect a need to be met. By committing to meeting your own needs, you will trigger the chemistry of attraction within you. You will feel happy, excited, satisfied, fulfilled and content, all at the same time, because you know you will be fulfilling your needs 100%. And your stress level will be significantly reduced, if not completely eradicated, most of the time. Congratulations again for becoming a self-nurturing person. This is truly the best gift you can be giving yourself.

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Chapter 8 Your Roadmap to SuccessIf youre going to succeed at truly loving your self, youll need a roadmap and a vision of how your life could be if you cared enough to truly make yourself a priority. I know that you deserve to be happy and joyful and to have your dreams come true. I know this, because I have made the changes necessary to go from thinking there was something wrong with me, to now believing in myself 100%. You can make the same changes and I am going to show you how.

Maslows Hierarchy of NeedsLets now get started on specific steps you can take on your journey to selflove. Its time to become a self-nurturing person, and we will use Maslows Hierarchy of Needs as your roadmap to success. Abraham Maslow was a Humanistic Psychologist. He outlined a theory of personality in the 1940s that so accurately describes personal development that it still is an important model for personal growth. That is why I believe it is a great tool to use as a roadmap for developing your self-nurturing skills.

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Maslow noticed early in his career that some needs take precedence over others. For example, if you are hungry and thirsty at the same time, you will tend to try to take care of your thirst first. The reason for this is that you can do without food for weeks, but you can only do without water for a couple of days! Thus, thirst is a stronger need than hunger. Needs theory suggests that the lower needs on the hierarchy are the first ones encountered, and the higher needs are realized only after the lower needs are gratified. Thus, the lower a need is on the hierarchy of needs, the more it dominates when it is in a state of deprivation. The more a need is gratified, the less important it is, and the more important the next higher need becomes. In developing the hierarchy of needs, Maslow identified five levels of needs starting with our Physical Needs, followed by our Safety and Security Needs, our Belonging and Acceptance Needs, our Self-Esteem Needs, and our Self-Actualization Needs at the top of the pyramid. According to this theory, and according to many peoples personal experience, including my own, when a lower level need emerges, it will take precedence over higher level needs if we love ourselves and truly take care of ourselves. The order in which you will meet your needs starts with physical needs and goes up the hierarchy of needs as follows:

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Level One: Physical NeedsGenerally, these needs are for very basic ones such as food, water, shelter, clothing, air, touch, structure, exercise, relaxation, rest, sleep, a calm nervous system, stimulation and good health. Physical needs can be described specifically. At a more specific level, physical needs consist of the need for oxygen, water, protein, salt, calcium, and many other minerals and vitamins. They also include the need to maintain a proper pH balance, a proper body temperature, sufficient physical strength, and the need to excrete wastes from the body. This description is not all inclusive. It is just a general description to give you an idea of what physical needs are.

Level Two: Safety and Security NeedsWhen your physical needs are satisfied, the need for safety and security comes into play. Generally, safety and security needs consist of being safe or protected from danger, and having the means to satisfy your physical needs on an on-going basis.

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At this level of need, you will become increasingly interested in finding safe surroundings, stability, protection, organization or order, and some limits. This usually translates into a desire to have a home in a safe neighborhood, job security, safe and trustworthy friends and family, money in the bank for a rainy day, a good retirement plan, and insurance for an unexpected disaster.

Level Three: Belonging and Acceptance NeedsWhen physical and safety and security needs are mostly taken care of, a third level of need starts to show up. This is where you begin to feel the need for friends, a love relationship, children, warm and affectionate relationships in general, and even a sense of community. In this stage, you will seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. Your family is supposed to be the first place you experience the fulfillment of your needs for belonging and acceptance, along with your need for safety and security and your physical needs. Belonging and acceptance needs manifest in your desire to marry, to have a family, to be a part of a community, to be a member of a religious organization, to be a brother in a fraternity, to be a sister in a sorority, to be

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in a gang or to be in a bowling club. The need for belonging and acceptance is also partly what we look for in our career.

Level Four: Self-Esteem NeedsWhen our belonging and acceptance needs are met, the need for selfesteem arises. Self-esteem is the need to believe you are capable and deserving of self-respect. When this need is met, you live more consciously, you are more responsible, you are more expressive of your real self, you know who you are, what your purpose in life is, and you have personal integrity, which means you dont suffer with internal conflicts about who you are. Maslow identified two versions of self-esteem needs. One is the need for the respect of others, for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, and even dominance. The other involves the need for self-respect, including such feelings as self-confidence, selfworth, competence, achievement, and mastery. When these needs are not met, you can feel that your self-esteem is low and generally suffer from a feeling of inferiority.

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Level Five: Self-Actualization NeedsSelf- actualization means growing to become all you can be, and continually growing to reach your top potential. When all of your prior needs are mostly met, you can focus on growing to become the person you were born to be. When your growth needs are not met, you can feel on edge, and like something in your life is lacking. While it isnt as easy to figure out your self-actualization needs, it is possible and it is extremely important to do so, in order to create a fulfilling life for yourself. Self- actualization means growing to become all you can be, and continually growing to reach your top potential. If you are isolated and unloved, you will focus on meeting this need. If you have low self-esteem, you will be compensating for your state of being, and hence, not at a point in your life where you can focus on your self-actualization needs. When your lower needs are not satisfied, you will not be able to devote yourself to fulfilling your top potential. The values that Maslow identified as needs for self-actualized people consist of: a strong desire for truth along with a strong rejection of dishonesty. a strong preference for goodness and strong rejection of evil. Copyright 2007 35

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a desire for meaning in life, not a void of deep understanding. an appreciation of beauty and rejection of ugliness and vulgarity. a strong need for unity and wholeness and resolution of conflicts. a deep experience of aliveness, not deadness or a rigidity in life. wanting to develop ones uniqueness and not settling for conformity. consciously achieved perfection as opposed to inconsistency. a deep need for justice and order, not lawlessness and chaos.

Growing to Become All You Can BeGrowing to become all you can be or becoming a self-actualized person is a deeply satisfying achievement. Maslow believed that only 2% of the population gets to this level. While there is really no way of knowing how many people accomplish this in their life time, you can be one of those people, if you truly want to be. The secret to your success will be working on all of the needs below this one on Maslows Hierarchy of Needs. Only then will you be truly ready to grow to become all you can be. By working on fulfilling all of your lower needs, you will feel grounded and ready to take on the next level of need. Because its a genetic predisposition for all human beings, you will automatically move up to Self-Actualization once your lower level needs are fulfilled.

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Summary of Your Roadmap to SuccessIf you are hungry, you will be busy looking for food. If you are unsafe, you will be continuously on guard. When you lack relationships, you will feel lonely and alienated. When you lack self-esteem, you will feel unworthy. And when you lack self-actualization, you will feel edgy. All of these needs can be met by you even if you didnt learn how to meet them as a child. You can learn how starting now.

Chapter 9

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Setting Goals for Your Personal Growth

In stressful times, or when your survival is threatened, you will most certainly regress to a lower need level on Maslows Hierarchy of Needs. For example, if your job loses its value to you, you might seek out a little attention elsewhere. If your marriage ends, you will feel again that love is all you need. If you face severe financial losses, after a long and happy life, you suddenly cant think of anything except money. Regression can occur on a society-wide basis as well. When your society suddenly experiences a recession or depression, you will focus on security needs over higher level needs. If war breaks out, you will be focusing on safety needs. If shortages of food occur, you and everyone in your society will become focused on physical needs, and not much else, unless they are being met. If youve had significant problems growing up, like a period of extreme insecurity or hunger as a child, or the loss of a family member through death or divorce, or significant neglect or abuse, you may be stuck in that level of need for the rest of your life, if you dont seek help and support to make some changes. This was Maslows understanding of psychological impairment, and his understanding has helped many people, like myself and now you, to make significant changes in your life. By following Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, you will be able to clearly identify goals to set for your personal growth.

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Identifying Your Personal Growth GoalsYou might have gone through a war or extreme poverty as a kid. But now you have everything you need, so you wonder why you arent enjoying what you have. The reason is, most likely, that you are still worrying about not having enough money to maintain your physical needs. You would want to make changing negative beliefs about money one of your personal growth goals. Maybe your parents divorced when you were young. That was traumatic for you because you were too young to handle the enormity of the loss on your own. And now, even though you have a wonderful spouse, you get insanely jealous or worry constantly that you are going to be left. Perhaps you have internalized the belief that you are not good enough, and you dont know that your internalized belief is what is driving your irrational behavior, because it is an unconscious belief until you work on it to make it conscious. It is also a false belief, but you dont know that either. You blamed yourself for the loss of your parent through divorce, and unconsciously, you fear it will happen again. You will want to make changing negative beliefs about the security of love relationships, one of your personal growth goals.

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fearful of losing it. Its time to change these negative beliefs. Its time to make this one of your goals for personal growth. Perhaps your parents were highly critical of you growing up. Today your self-worth is suffering. When someone shows their love or friendship to you, you tell them what is wrong with yourself or you think about how unworthy you are. Either way, you have internalized your parents critical behavior toward you, and now it isnt safe emotionally for you to get close to others. You feel stuck in a pattern of pushing friends and potential partners away from you. Make this one of your goals for personal growth. Perhaps your parents were verbally or physically abusive to you. Relationships now have a disturbing pattern. You either avoid them altogether or you find people who mistreat you like your parents did. Being close is dangerous for you, so you either find ways to avoid being close completely, or you deny the danger, and unconsciously manifest abusive relationships all over again. Make this one of your goals for personal growth.

Selecting Your Personal Growth GoalsSince you learned negative beliefs and attitudes about yourself, the good news is that you can unlearn them. Falling madly in love with yourself will motivate you to succeed, and will keep you on your journey to self-love. Understanding and accepting that youre a work in progress, like everyone else, will help you to stay open to your own process of self-discovery.

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Now its time to become a self-nurturing person. This means you will commit to taking care of all of your needs, and as a result, you will fall madly in love with yourself. We will use Maslows Hierarchy of Needs for your roadmap to success. By using Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, you can now identify specific areas of growth to focus on. Below I have listed possible needs within each level that you may want to select as a goal for yourself. Once you have identified growth goals, you will then start the powerful work of making the changes toward greater emotional health. I will show you how to do this. Review the five levels of needs below and identify any areas that you would like to improve. The areas listed will get you started on your path of identifying specific causes to work on. If you have a journal, I recommend using it now to write down any areas of need you would like to focus on, or if you downloaded How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself, you can fill in the blanks below. What are the problems in each level that you are experiencing in your life today? Add any problems that you are facing if they are not included below. Write down what is occurring today, and next to that, what you want instead: Example: for Shelter: I am renting a room and my roommate annoys me every day, because I want to use the kitchen without him, but he is always there. I want to have my own house or apartment. Copyright 2007 41

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Physical Needs: Shelter___________________________________________________ Nutrition___________________________________________________ Exercise___________________________________________________ Health___________________________________________________ Touch___________________________________________________ Stimulation___________________________________________________ Other___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________

Example for Finances: I lost my job several years ago and now I am self-employed. No matter what I do, I cannot make enough money to cover my expenses. I want to increase my yearly income. Copyright 2007 42

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Safety & Security Needs: Finances___________________________________________________ Stability___________________________________________________ Protection___________________________________________________ Structure/Boundaries___________________________________________________ Freedom from fear___________________________________________________ Other-

Example for Relationships: I am now a single mom. I feel so depressed that my marriage has ended and I am afraid I will

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never have a long-lasting and fulfilling love relationship. I want to find my soul mate and live happily ever after. Belonging & Acceptance Needs: Relationships___________________________________________________ Giving Love___________________________________________________ Receiving Love___________________________________________________ Friendships___________________________________________________ Community___________________________________________________ Other___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________

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Self-Esteem Needs: Self-respect___________________________________________________ Self-worth___________________________________________________ Confidence___________________________________________________ Achievement___________________________________________________ Independence___________________________________________________ Recognition___________________________________________________ Other-

Example for Personal Growth: I am so bored with my job that I could scream. I want to develop my talents and do work that fulfills my purpose in live. Self-Actualization Needs: Copyright 2007 45

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Personal growth___________________________________________________ Purpose___________________________________________________ Realize full potential___________________________________________________ Working with passion___________________________________________________ Helping others to achieve their potential___________________________________________________ Understanding___________________________________________________ Other___________________________________________________ Congratulations! By identifying your problems, you have created a list of personal growth goals. You have taken a very big step towards falling madly in love with yourself. The next step on your journey to self-love is discovering the underlying causes of your problems, because these causes may be the real obstacles to your success.

Chapter 10 Writing Your Mini-Autobiography

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One of the reasons I became a Marriage & Family Therapist is because I know that our childhood experiences affect our lives greatly. In psychology, there is the concept of doing family of origin work. Family of origin work is nothing more than exploring your personal history, from the time you were born to the present. By exploring it, you start to become aware of what you learned and how it is affecting your life today. Therapists have always understood the value of doing this kind of historical work even when most people resist it, and deny that it has anything to do with their present life. Exploring your past history is critical to your success in learning to love yourself. I want to show you how it can benefit you on your journey to self love. You will see the value of your exploration as you go through all of the steps.

The Past is not Over and Done WithThere is no way to explore your personal history without bringing up strong feelings. Many of the strong feelings that you will experience will not be pleasant. For this reason, many people want to believe the past is over and done with. But that is not true. The past is not over and done with. It is alive and well and affecting your life negatively right now. And, until you make the changes that are necessary to fall madly in love with yourself, you will continue to suffer. When you explore your personal history, you may feel much sadness. No one wants to feel sad, so you may resist change in order to block feeling sad. You may also feel scared. Fear is another uncomfortable feeling, so again Copyright 2007 47

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you may resist change in order to block feeling scared. You may also feel angry. Anger is a bad feeling for many people. They have been taught not to feel anger. If that is true, it will be very uncomfortable to make the changes you need to make. For these reasons, it has been easier for human beings to deny that their past is affecting their present lives. If you know that you need support to proceed with your journey to selflove, please dont hesitate to seek a psychotherapist for yourself, or call me for relationship coaching. It is an act of courage to reach out for support. I will feel honored if you contact me, and I will be so proud of you if you seek a personal therapist for yourself. Please dont let your discomfort with the process of change stop you. You deserve to have all of your needs met. We are now going to identify what is blocking your success from the information you uncover while writing your mini-autobiography. Writing a mini-autobiography is a great way to help you identify causes for your problems, and therefore, a great way to help you break through your resistance.

Organizing Your Mini-Autobiography

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Your mini-autobiography can be as short as you would like it to be, or as long and as detailed as you would like it to be. And it also can be organized in any way. It is usually a good idea to use a journal to write in, so you have easy access to it as you work on loving yourself. You may want some direction, however, with regard to the actual organization of your mini-autobiography. What works for lots of people is to use each year of your life as a chapter. Within each chapter you write what you imagine you were thinking, feeling and wanting at that age with regard to all levels of need from Maslows Hierarchy of Needs. For example, for your first year of life, you would focus on how all of your needs were met; i.e., all of your physical, safety and security, belonging and acceptance, self-esteem and self-actualization needs. If any of these needs were not met, there is a good chance you will have a growth goal in that area of your life. When a need is not met, this becomes a problem you experienced, both in the past and in the present, depending upon what stage of life you are writing about

What is a Problem?

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A problem is the difference between what you have now and what you want. Lets say you are single, and you want to be in a fulfilling, committed, love relationship. What you have now is being single. What you want is a relationship. This is your problem. What is causing this problem for you? It is not as easy to identify the causes of a problem, which is why you will be writing your miniautobiography. With the information you recall about your childhood, you will be helping yourself to identify the causes of your problems. Once you know the accurate cause of a problem, you have a greater chance of resolving it. Following are two examples of identifying a cause of a problem you may have had.

Identifying CausesLets say you identified a growth goal of safety when you were young. You write down that you were terrified as a child, and that you want to feel safe and be free of anxiety today as an adult. What caused you to feel unsafe as a child? In your mini-autobiography, you remember and write down that your parents fought frequently. Not only did they scream at each other, but most of the time it ended with physical abuse towards each other. When your parents fought, your father threatened to hurt you and your brother. The cause of your feelings of being unsafe today stem from witnessing the physical abuse of your parents, and fearing an attack upon yourself, unless, right now in the present, there is something threatening you.

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The next step in your personal growth will be identifying the negative beliefs you adopted about trusting others, and changing them to positives. Also you will need to develop nurturing behavior towards yourself so that you can learn to self-soothe. Without a nurturing parent to help you calm down during a difficult time, you will automatically lack the ability to soothe yourself when you are upset. Heres another example of identifying a cause of a problem you may have had. This is an example of a situation in which you grew up with a very critical mom. A growth goal you wrote down for yourself is increasing your self-esteem. As you write your mini-autobiography, you start to remember many instances of your mother putting you down. As you make these negative interactions more conscious, you give yourself the opportunity to change whatever negative beliefs you have developed. What you discover is that more than one level of need is being affected today by your moms critical parenting of you. You were told you were selfish when you focused on your own desires, so today you ignore your physical health and your health issues are getting worse instead of better. You were told that you cannot pursue a dancing career, because you would never be able to make any money at it. Today, you have no idea what career you would like to have, and you feel lost, because almost any ideas you had about work for yourself were shot down by your mom. You have financial problems today, because you cannot get yourself to stay with any job you start, and you feel your self-worth has suffered because you have no Copyright 2007 51

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achievements to speak of. And finally, you feel a constant edginess, because you cannot decide upon a purpose for your life. You feel confused and stuck. You most probably learned that your survival depended upon pleasing your mom. You are in a constant state of conflict, because you need to please mom while at the same time your natural talents are screaming for expression. The cause of your problems is your deep need to please your mom. This is what you will need to change.

You May Need Help to Write Your Mini-AutobiographyWhen you write about your first year of life, you may need help from someone to tell you what was going on in your life at that time, if you havent already been told. It will be helpful to contact family members who can fill in some of the gaps. If no one is available, you can look at photographs or family films or videos to try to figure out what you were thinking, feeling and wanting around all of your needs. You can use the same methods to help you identify what was going on in your life during your pre-school years. Starting in kindergarten, you may be able to remember what you were thinking, feeling and wanting. If not, family members and photos can be helpful, again.

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The grammar school years are next, and memories will be more plentiful during these years. Junior high school and high school follow and remembering will hopefully not be an issue for you any longer. College may be the next period to focus on, and finally your work life, or whatever sequence of events that are unique to your life up to the present time.

Write as Much as You CanThe goal is to write as much as you can, but the first time you sit down to write, there will be many things that you dont recall. As you work on healing issues from the past, many more memories will come back to you, and you can continually update your journal. It will be a fascinating experience for you, because most people have forgotten the good times along with many of the painful times. Resolving the painful times will help with remembering the good times which will increase your self-confidence and set a stronger foundation for understanding and accepting your real self as you move into a happier and more successful time of your life. Please start writing your mini-autobiography right now. Take some time out from reading, to focus on the first five years of your life. Then come back to reading the next chapter and finish reading How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself before you finish writing your whole miniautobiography.

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Chapter 11 Addressing the Causes of ProblemsI want to help you have the confidence to be your real self and to be completely comfortable with expressing who you are. Your real self is full of love and life and is yearning to be free to express him or herself. I will be showing you now how to address the causes of your problems. When you resolve your childhood issues, you will have the success in your love relationships and in your whole life that you are dreaming of having, and you will fall madly in love with yourself during the process. When you fall madly in love with yourself, you will have all the energy necessary to make the changes you need to make. Its your birthright to have all of your needs met, and it is now time to reclaim what was yours from the start; having your real human needs met so you can truly be your real self.

Lets Take Chapter One to Start WithTake one chapter at a time to work on. Lets take Chapter One to start with. Please read your mini-autobiography to refresh your memory of your first year of life. Then look at the goals you set for your personal growth. Based

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on your personal history, is there anything that happened to you during your first year of life, or in the womb, that could be causing problems for you in meeting your physical needs, your safety and security needs, your belonging and acceptance needs, your self-esteem needs and/or your selfactualization needs? Write down what happened that interfered with getting your needs met. Because not getting your needs met creates intense emotions like fear, sadness and anger, you developed a negative belief about yourself to deny needing to have your needs met. What do you think that negative belief might be? Jot down anything and everything that comes to mind. These negative beliefs must be changed to positive beliefs.

Changing Negative Beliefs to Positive BeliefsTake a separate piece of paper now, and draw a line down the middle of it. Label the left column of the piece of paper, negative beliefs. Label the right column, positive beliefs. Keep a list of your negative beliefs on the left side, and start writing down possible positive beliefs that you would like to have. An example of this exercise is the following: Negative Beliefs I am not good enough I am unimportant I Positive Beliefs I am good enough I am important

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Please notice how easy it is to identify a positive belief. The hard work really starts when you decide you want to change that negative belief into the positive belief you have identified. Now focus on the positive belief. Repeat the belief over and over again, out loud or silently to yourself. Do you notice any feelings? What are those feelings? If they are feelings of sadness, are you willing and able to let yourself cry. If you are, you will be doing a great job of grieving the loss you experienced for so many years thinking you were not good enough. Now you are accepting that you are good enough, and when you have cried all the tears of sadness associated with not believing this about yourself for so many years, you will be finished with crying. And you will feel great joy and relief. Repeat this same process of change for each negative belief you have discovered. If you find this too difficult to do on your own, please get support for yourself. I will be glad to coach you to falling madly in love with yourself.

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Chapter 12 Changing Ego StatesAnother way to discover causes for your problems is to create an Egogram. An Egogram comes from Transactional Analysis which was developed by Eric Berne. All human beings experience five ego states according to this theory. The first ego state is the Parent which is broken down into two types of parent behaviors: the Nurturing Parent (NP) and the Controlling Parent (CP). Parent ego states reflect learned behavior. The Nurturing Parent is encouraging and positive in response to the growing child. The Controlling Parent sets limits and can be harsh and judgmental when it is not necessary or helpful. The second ego state is the Adult (A) which is the part of a human being that thinks and solves problems in the present. This is the rational, logical human being. The third ego state is the Child which is also broken down into two types of child behaviors: the Free Child (FC) and the Adapted Child (AC). Child ego states reflect feeling behaviors. The Free Child is spontaneous, playful, creative, intuitive, curious, capable, loving, lovable, and full of wants. The Adapted Child has been socialized and depending upon the degree of socialization or lack of socialization will be somewhat or greatly rigid, somewhat or greatly in a state of chaos, afraid, withdrawn, shy, and feeling not okay about him/herself. Copyright 2007 57

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By Sandra Dawson

Drawing Your EgogramWhen I drew an egogram for myself some 30 years ago, it looked like this:

I told you some things about my childhood that now I will elaborate on. My mother was verbally abusive to me, so there was little opportunity for me to learn to be encouraging and supportive to myself. I internalized a very small Nurturing Parent (NP). That is reflected in the diagram above My Controlling Parent (CP) on the other hand was very large, because I learned to say mean, discouraging, harsh, and negative things to myself. For years I was unable to do positive things for myself, because of this early conditioning.

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

By Sandra Dawson

My Adult (A) was also small because of the violence in my family. My mother was being beaten by my father very often. The police were called to stop the domestic violence very frequently. My life was threatened by my father. I was terrified. In an atmosphere of physical abuse like this, it is often so traumatic that a childs ability to think clearly is affected. That was the case for me. My over-activated nervous system made it very hard for me to concentrate and solve the problems in my life. My Free Child (FC) was also very small, because the verbal abuse and violence blocked my ability to feel safe and spontaneous. I am a twin, and that helped me to hold onto more of my Free Child, because my brother and I could console each other, and leave our home to have fun. We were survival mates, and that helped my ability to form close relationships once I got on my journey to self-love. My Adapted Child (AC) was also very large due to the verbal abuse. I learned to put myself down, discount my accomplishments and block myself from having friends and committed love relationships.

My Egogram TodayToday, my egogram looks completely different. My NP, A, and FC are all very high, and my CP and AC are very small. Analyzing my Egogram was extremely important for me about 30 years ago when I started my personal growth. It helped me to understand why I was having such a hard time making a love relationship work. My self-worth was extremely low and my negative judgment of myself very high. When I liked a guy back then, I Copyright 2007 59

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didnt feel worthy. When a guy liked me, I too easily rejected him. After years of failing to find lasting love, I decided to work on myself and increase my self-worth. I then fell madly in love with myself as a result of learning how to become a self-nurturing person, and that led to me meeting the love of my life. I am happily married now and am living a successful life. I could not have made all of these positive changes without learning how to become a selfnurturing person. I am able to help you on your path to self-love, because I have traveled down the same road you are on now. I can lead you to the positive outcome you are seeking. From my own experience and from my professional knowledge, I now know for certain that healthy relationships are based on being open and expressive of ones real self. When your Free Child is repressed by a strong Controlling Parent, you do not feel safe enough to reveal your real self. You end up in relationships that are based on fantasies of what love should be, but not in relationships that actually meet your real needs. You are used to having relationships that do not meet your needs, so this is acceptable for you until the fantasy gets destroyed. Fantasies inevitably get destroyed in many different ways; some by affairs, some by growth in one partner that is too threatening to the other, some by conflicts that never get resolved, and some by traumatic events that Copyright 2007 60

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mercilessly rip a weak bond apart. Any of these reasons, however, can be used to motivate a couple to work on their individual childhood wounds. More couples would do this work on themselves, if they understood and accepted the truth that almost all of their problems stem from injuries sustained growing up. This is not a popular concept, but it is, indeed, the truth. It is truly the only path to successful love relationships until parenting is greatly improved on this planet. True commitment can only be given to someone when you know who you are and you allow yourself to be seen. When you feel good enough about yourself to reveal the real you, you can also be open to the continual growth that is part of a healthy life together. You get to have your independence to grow to become all you can be, and you get to have intimacy that is soul satisfying. Falling madly in love with yourself is the first and most important step toward lasting love, and having all of your dreams come true in life. When you are not afraid to be your real self and you love and accept yourself unconditionally and conditionally, your Egogram will reflect your increased nurturing abilities and your high self-esteem. You will have a larger Nurturing Parent (NP), and a smaller Controlling Parent (CP). You will have a stronger Adult (A) and a larger Free Child (FC). You will have a smaller Adapted Child (AC).

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

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Your ideal Egogram would look something like the following:

The egogram above shows a person who loves themselves. It is my wish for you that you achieve this positive level of self-love. Keep working on changing the negatives in your life to positives, and you will achieve your goal. This is my egogram today, and all that I did to achieve it has been more than worth it. I am sure you will feel the same way.

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

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Draw Your Current EgogramNow its your turn to draw your current egogram. How nurturing are you to yourself, how controlling, how free is your free child and how strong is your adapted child and how strong is your adult? Use your journal to record where you are today.

Draw Your Ideal EgogramThen draw a second Egogram, the one you would like to have. After drawing it, think about what is causing you to have the differences between the Egogram you want to have and one you currently have. This will help you identify the causes for the problems you are currently experiencing in your relationships and in your life. If your Controlling Parent is very strong, you are possibly judging yourself too harshly and keeping yourself from succeeding in love and life. Perhaps the cause of not being able to find and keep a partner in your life is your strong Controlling Parent along with your strong Adapted Child that is usually present with a strong controlling parent. This is your clue to change the rules you have internalized from your childhood, and to change negative beliefs about yourself and negative behaviors to positive ones. Negative rules and negative beliefs become the true underlying causes of your problems. Hence, the focus of your healing, and learning to increase your self-love will be here.

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

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Maybe your Adult ego state is not big enough. This is a sign of extreme trauma in your childhood, and will signal you to work on healing this trauma. If you have an idea of what occurred during your childhood that was a danger to your life, that will help you work on the cause of your problems. If you dont know, but you have a great deal of anxiety, do you know what triggers your anxiety today? What triggers your anxiety today may be a clue to the underlying cause of your trauma in the first place. It is definitely a place to start your search. Also, read your Mini-Autobiography again to see if there are clues there to help you identify the trauma you may have experienced. Many people had birth trauma that has never been dealt with, and it has caused and continues to cause much difficulty with their adult functioning. See if you can find out the circumstances of your birth and how you were taken care of during your first year of life, to determine if trauma healing is necessary for you. Next on your journey to self-love, please go back to your Hierarchy of Needs where you identified the problems you are experiencing in each of the five levels: physical needs, safety and security needs, belonging and acceptance needs, self-esteem needs, and at the top of the pyramid, selfactualization needs. Utilizing the information you have discovered by writing your Mini-Autobiography and completing your Egograms, what do you think are the causes of your problems today. Have you learned negative behaviors and negative beliefs that are keeping you stuck?

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

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If your resistance is threatening to stop you on your journey to self-love, take some time now to imagine what your life will truly be like if you dont make some changes. Do you really want the negative patterns to continue? If these patterns continue, how will you feel about your life when you are older and you are looking back at the road not taken. Now is the time to commit to your healing process, so you dont regret not taking this golden opportunity to turn things around. Its no fun being old and depressed and anxious. Old, by itself, is enough to deal with. Your golden years should be a time to share your wisdom and enjoy your perspective. I know. I am here and I am happy and fulfilled. Please continue to give the same gift to yourself by working on your problems now. And congratulate yourself, for you now have a complete plan for personal growth and succeeding at falling madly in love with yourself.

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

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Chapter 13 Committing to New BehaviorsIf you commit to this process, youre guaranteed to feel a whole lot better about yourself by the end of one month. Your change process only requires you to spend an hour a day reading and doing the exercises. Spending one hour a day is going to have a massive impact on your selfconfidence and how you relate to others as well as how others relate to you. Your results will be in direct proportion to how willing you are to stick to your daily ritual, but dont fall into the trap of crucifying yourself if you miss a few days here and there. Thats exactly the kind of behavior youre trying to end in your life. Just let it be OK and pick up where you left off. Remember, the aim isnt perfection; its the joy of self-discovery in the process of your personal growth. Youre not perfect now and you certainly wont be at the end of it, no matter how hard you try, but you will be a lot more relaxed with yourself. You will feel joy and excitement and you will be looking forward to each day. With greater confidence in your ability to solve the problems that come your way, you will have increased energy, too. When you change negatives into positives, joy is the result.

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

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Identifying Behaviors to ChangeIf you would like to increase your Nurturing Parent (NP) ego state, and I certainly hope you want to do this, then here is a simple method to use. Identify negative, harsh, critical, controlling and judgmental behaviors you engage in. Here is a list of possible negative behaviors: Negative Self-Talk Putting Yourself Down in Front of Others Not Asking for What You Want Not Paying Your Bills Not Opening Your Mail Taking Drugs/Addictions Over-eating Under-eating Lack of Sleep Believing You are Not Okay Procrastinating Dating Partners Who Dont Want a Commitment Spending More Money than You Have Not Having Fun Lack of Exercise: Stretching, Aerobic, Strength-Building Being Controlled by Others Not Expressing Your Feelings in Love Relationships Inflexible Behavior and Attitudes Lacking Boundaries and Order Copyright 2007 67

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Abusing Others Emotionally or Physically Letting Others Control You Now write your list of negative behaviors on the left side of a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle of the page again. On the right side, decide upon the new behaviors that you would like to engage in that are positive and that will help you to meet all of your needs. Example: Negative Behavior Not Paying Your Bills on Time I Positive Behavior Want to open mail, and pay bills. Using your current Egogram, what do you think is causing you to not pay your bills on time? Were you encouraged to set time aside for administrative tasks? Did either of your parents or primary caregivers, model and/or help you with tasks that must be done regularly to take care of your physical needs, and safety and security needs? Probably not, so the cause of your behavior problem will be the lack of nurturing or support. The solution now, will be imagining that support, or asking for it from someone, like a mate, a boyfriend, a friend, a psychotherapist or your relationship coach. What you didnt get as a child, you can get now, if you identify what it is and ask for it from someone who is willing and able to give it to you.

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Another possible cause of your behavior will be negative beliefs about yourself. You will need to identify the negative belief, imagine the positive belief you want to replace it, and work on re-deciding that the positive is true for you.

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How to Fall Madly in Love with Yourself

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Chapter 14 Your Self-Love System in ActionI would like to summarize some points now. In other words, where are we? You know that your goal is to become a self-nurturing person which is dependent upon your commitment to taking care of all of your needs. You know what all o