I know what you’re thinking.
Or I should say, I know what you’re thinking if you’re anything like me.
Ha. As if. Suuuuuure I can love myself. I can probably also cure cancer someday, IF I get a brain transplant and find half a million dollars and go back to school for a decade and don’t die of old age before I graduate….
Truthfully, I used to cringe – or worse, completely disconnect – when I heard, read or otherwise encountered the phrase, “you can love yourself.” And when I heard, “you must love yourself before you can love anybody else,” well, that was my cue to find a shovel and start digging.
To my non-self-loving ears, “love yourself” sounded like a pronouncement of certain doom. I knew I loved my bird, my family, my friends.
But me? Um, that would be a clear no.
So trust me, I understand how it can get irritating to encounter “love yourself, love yourself, love yourself” no matter which way you turn. Want to feel happier? Love yourself. Want to have more friends? Love yourself. Want to meet the love of your life? Love yourself.
Sooner or later it starts to sound like the magic pill they ran out of just before you got to the front of the line.
This is also why I don’t say “you really CAN love yourself” lightly. Ten years ago (when I was just starting this work I do now) I still loathed myself. Five years ago I tolerated myself. Two years ago I was contemplating the concept of liking myself. A year and a half ago I bit the bullet and decided to go for it.
Today, I am starting to truly love myself.
So when I say you really CAN love yourself, I am not trying to claim I know how it feels to be you, how impossible it seems to love yourself, or how easy all those Mount Everest-sized obstacles in your path are to climb over.
All I am saying is that, as of last year, I discovered it is possible to do the totally unthinkable and love the thoroughly unlovable – ME.
And for this reason, and this reason alone, I truly do believe that, if you want to badly enough and you are willing to do absolutely whatever it takes to get there, you too really CAN love yourself.
And if you decide you want to give it a try, I would love some company for the road!
With great respect and love,
p.s. This post is part of April’s edition of “Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery,” my free monthly recovery ezine. To sign up or just read the full edition click here
Today’s Takeaway: Have you struggled to love yourself as I have? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on developing self-love, what motivates you to love yourself and others more and what has worked for you to believe you are worth the gift of your own love and others’ love!
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Last reviewed: 3 May 2013