Love Part II: Loving Oneself

 “There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.”
– Brian Andreas

In order to love another fully, completely, and with a pureness that comes from your spirit self, you must first love yourself. How many of us can say that we love ourselves? We live in a society that supports and embraces self-degradation. I’m too lazy, too fat, too pushy, too passive… on and on the list of character defects goes, the tape forever running in our heads. “If only I…” how many times have we delayed our happiness waiting for the “if only” to materialize?

Not one of us will travel through life without receiving bumps and bruises, scrapes and scars. While it may seem these challenges deplete us, they actually reveal our inner strength. Death of a loved one, end of a relationship, even job loss can make us question our worth or place in this world. Forgiveness of oneself in difficult situations is a part of self-love. Trusting that every instance, no matter how difficult or baffling, is all part of God’s plan.  Remember this when life doesn’t seem so positive and let it provide you comfort.

Many of us have troubles that keep us anxious, that keep us from taking time to care for ourselves. We must remember to give our troubles over to God. What a gift to give our troubles away. God wants us to be happy and to love ourselves and let His light shine through us so we can help others. Know that you will grow from each of life’s experiences, and through this growth comes compassion and understanding that we can share with others.

Once we can accept ourselves for who we are, flaws and all, we can begin to love ourselves for the good people we are: giving, caring, loving, patient, kind, nurturing, creative, enthusiastic, quiet, gentle, humble, and funny. We are not perfect people. We are beautifully flawed individuals, each of us unique and with our own voice. We are here for a reason. God puts us exactly where we are supposed to be. We are here to give love away, and to receive it.


So how does one come about to seeing themselves through their own eyes and not that of another? For many, this does not come naturally. Woman in our society have been taught that love comes from approval of others, a mother, a father, a mate. It takes work to reverse this pattern; to know and understand that as adults we are our own friend. In difficult times, we must be able to rely on our own inner strength and walk through difficulties with our chin up and know that it is temporary. The pain is not forever. Men have different issues: they are taught to control their feelings, not to cry, not embrace.  This also takes time to reverse. Only you can change the pattern and learn to love yourself for who you are.

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”
– Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

We owe it to ourselves, and others, to learn how to love ourselves. This is not egotistical, it’s necessary. Self-care is never a selfish act. When you love yourself you have the emotional reserves to do more for others and spread kindness. A few ways you can take care of yourself are:

·         Spend twenty minutes each morning quietly reading or meditating before checking email or diving into your day.

·         Take a walk, listen to the sounds of nature, connect yourself with your surroundings

·         Check in with your senses daily. Take the time to taste food, see beauty, touch something soft, or
with an interesting texture.

·         Slow down. Beautiful things are all around you. Take it in.

·         Stop all negative comments. About yourself, about others.

·         Repeat positive affirmations each morning. It’s not silly. If you walk around repeating you can’t do something, you won’t. Only those who affirm they can- do.

·         Love your flaws. This is what makes you YOU. There is no one else with that nose, or that crooked smile.

·         Be sure to take care of your health. See your dentist, see your doctor. No one will make these appointments for you.

·         Give time for a hobby. Dedicate one night a week to doing something you love. Paint, draw, write, bake, sew, take a dance class. No one will give you this time as a gift, take it. This is your life.

“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”
– Diane Von Furstenberg


If you find yourself in a time of transition and having difficulty getting through, CCNH is here. Our counseling services can help through a time of transition and aide in healthy thinking. CCNH provides individual, marital, family and couples’ counseling, helping people with a variety of personal difficulties with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life, counseling helps people increase their self-esteem, cope more effectively with stress, and reduce isolation. It also helps individuals and families strengthen communication skills in order to build and sustain healthy relationships and live more satisfying lives.

Make a commitment in the New Year to love yourself. Really, what do you have to lose? Here’s what you have to gain: Renewed confidence. Standing taller. Smiling more. Sleeping better. Patience. Grace.

Who can ask for more than that?