Professional Student of Life
Adventures in personal growth
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
~ Dr. Suess
This is not the first February post I have devoted to self-love. Those of us who are un-coupled in the month of love tend to plug our ears and whistle until the 14th finally passes. But, in or out of a relationship, the advice to “love the one you’re with” always applies. What would happen if you treated yourself to the delighted fascination and attention and care you would focus on a love interest?
You are so beautiful. Yes, you. Wrinkles and all. Or pimples and all. Or balding and all. Have you ever noticed how, when you see photos of yourself at a younger age, you look so wonderful? But you didn’t know it at the time, because you could only see your “flaws.” The same thing will happen, years from now, when you see photos of yourself from this time. Why can’t we appreciate what we have when we have it?
No one else is like you, or will ever be like you. Embrace that. Embrace the so-called flaws too. I am coming to appreciate quirkiness more and more as I grow older and quirkier myself. And don’t you love to be around people who are comfortable in their own skin? It makes everyone else more comfortable too. Stop caring so much what other people think, and care what you think of yourself. Approve of yourself.
Find the things that you love to do and do more of them. Study yourself intently. Stop once or twice a day to do this: put your hand over your heart, close your eyes and breathe. Try it now. It’s a way of sending love to yourself, of appreciating the body that carries you around all day long and the selfless intentions that inspire so much of what you do. Care as much about how you are feeling as you do about everyone else. Care more, even. The happier you are, the more light you shine into the world. Truly, everyone benefits when we each take care of ourselves.
Treat yourself with great tenderness. Try not to berate yourself for mistakes or be dismissive or impatient with your feelings. Take a nap every once in a while. Give yourself a break. Tell yourself, “It’s okay for me to feel this way.” Often, the worst part about feeling sad or scared or lonely is that we also somehow feel it’s wrong, or a failure of some kind, when really it’s a perfectly normal part of being a perfectly normal human being. Let yourself be merely human. Let yourself have the full range of human experience, and not just the “good” stuff all the time. It makes for a richer life in the end.
I am trying with all my heart to take all of this advice. I really am learning to be my own biggest fan and supporter. Curiously, it doesn’t make you more egotistical. It actually makes you more generous and joyful and more likely to notice and celebrate others’ uniqueness and worth. The more I love me, the more I love you, too.
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