You know the story. You have to love yourself before expecting the love of another. Post-It announcements could cover your bathroom mirror or self-help books may line the shelves, but loving and appreciating you is easier in theory. If the idea of chanting Stuart Smalley affirmations sounds a little hackneyed, then try a different approach. The key to self love is to feel it, mean it and make it happen, however that may transpire.
So, what’s so great about you? The definition of our self worth is so personal, dripped with life experiences, relationships, childhood rearing, and most importantly, self esteem. While constantly in flux, self love is challenged by the most recent jerky ex, those extra pounds on the hips, the recent layoff and yesterday’s tiff with sis. Since there is no formula to falling in love, and if “I think I can” mantras just don’t work, start with an honest evaluation of you.
Others take a cue from how you treat yourself, so be kind. Dredging up digs on your crappy haircut or your recent stupid move at work isn’t helping. Maybe you aren’t the hottest chick on the planet or your career isn’t on the fast track, but, you are really good with those hieroglyphic IKEA directions and play a mean game of Rummy. Celebrate the positives and be proud of who you are, as is. Although awareness is the first step on the path to transformation, acceptance is the first step to internal peace.
Forgive and Forget
Stop the worthiness doubt and forgive those imperfections! You deserve love, respect and good times regardless of your shortcomings. Loving yourself means to take care of you and trust in your choices, without settling. So what if you have a hammertoe or you’re last boyfriend was a loser, you can (and should) still reach for the top shelf. If you don’t think that you deserve the best, who will? After regularly accepting less than the best, you may learn to expect less, and that’s a crummy consolation prize.
Work It Out
Proactive work always leads to the prize. If you are having trouble finding inspiration on loving yourself, focus on a healthy body to compliment your emerging new attitude. Remember that fit bodies come in all shapes and sizes. To feel your best, start with healthy eating and exercise that simultaneously promotes healthy skin and hair, strong bones and muscles, while boosting self-esteem and energy. Sweating out some frustration always feels good. Drink lots of water, take a bath or two per week instead of rushing through those showers and throw in some naps to help curb daily stress.
First in Line
Self love begins with making you a priority. Playing nice with others comes from a healthy place within, so take the time to work on that beautiful temple of yours in mind, body and spirit. Sure, it’s awkward to tout the splendor of you, especially if you have been putting yourself on the backburner. It may take some time, but you have to start the process to finish it. Be patient, and when you build it, they will come!