FROM SAMAHRIA: You know how easy it seems to be to go right to judging yourself ...? ("I should have ...", "Oh, that was so stupid of me.", "I'm just not 'X' enough.") That's because we keep thinking if we judge ourselves big enough, we'll get it. We'll change. That's like being an abuser to yourself - and pray you'll get yourself to improve... be more loving, be smarter, be more savvy, be a better partner picker, stand up for yourself ... etc. - as if we're not doing the best we can... as if we're bad.
What would happen if we just spoke kindly to ourselves, without any judgments? "I'd like to get better at 'X'," "I'm doing the best I can ... and this is okay," "I'm just going to keep going for more," and "I can love myself even as I try for self improvement."
Under every unhappiness we feel is a judgment aimed at actually attempting to get to happiness. We could take a more direct road and go right to being loving of ourselves, even if (and especially when) we think we've come up short of our ultimate goals.
Love yourself first - then ask yourself what you want. We could see life challenges as there to help us get more of what we want rather than as detractors and blockers... even when we can't see yet how these challenges are going to serve us.
For me, it's my life's work... learning to open to all of me - without judgment or fear. It's the only way to manifest love.