Monday, February 13, 2012

Self Love

This week is Valentine's Day when we celebrate love, but today I feel drawn to talk about a love we often forget about. Loving ourselves.

One of the most detrimental things you can do is fall for self-hatred. And I know so many people who dislike themselves. This can manifest in so many ways: obsessiveness about changing themselves, negative talk about themselves, destructive behavior, avoiding themselves (constant busyness, never taking the time to think or be alone with themselves, etc.). The list can go on forever. There are so many things we can loathe ourselves and so many of us are really good at it.

I've been there. Does this sound familiar? Avoiding the scale, hating every picture taken of myself, cringing at the mirror, self depreciating to beat others to the punch, etc.

Insufficient self-love is interconnected with low self esteem. Having a lack of love for yourself directly leads to a low self esteem. Then it becomes a reciprocal relationship. You can't love yourself because you feel you're unworthy.

It's time to break the cycle.

It's not going to just happen. You have to make a conscious decision to love yourself. I had to make a conscious decision. I've been through the cycle of self-loathing and disgust so many times. It's an easy pattern to fall into. But let me remind you of something the bible says, the Golden Rule: Love your neighbor as yourself.

We are told to love others. We are told to love others as we love ourselves. But if we hate ourselves... Well, you can see where that leads. It leads to a world of hatred. It leads to a world of failed potential.

You can't reach your potential if you hate yourself. You have to believe you have value. You have to believe you are worthy of the challenge you're undertaking. You have to believe you're good enough to take care of yourself.

So I challenge myself and everybody to make the decision to love themselves (or continue loving themselves today!

1. Forgive yourself for past failures.
2. Make a list of the things you love about yourself.
3. Make a list of your dreams.
4. Resolve to stop criticizing yourself. Don't be so hard on yourself.
5. Look after your body.
6. Take time for yourself (read alone, do something kind for yourself, get a manicure, etc.)

Imagine your potential and remember you are important. You are worthy of success, attention and love.