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Many people feel that loving yourself completely is selfish and that you’ll be so consumed with yourself, you’ll never have time for others.  In fact, the opposite is true.

When you are fully in love with yourself, you are complete.  You have what you need, so you no longer depend on others to supply you with the love and attention we all crave.  It’s so freeing to release that need.  Is there any more freedom than not needing anything from anybody?

Fully loving yourself means you are aware of all that’s so wonderful about yourself.  You see how special you are, just the way you are.  This gives a grounding, a sense of self esteem that’s solid.  You no longer need to prove it.

When that constant striving is gone, what’s left is a knowing that you truly deserve love and attention.  This makes you completely open to all the good stuff others want to give you.  Rather than doubting or discounting it, you gobble up every bit. This creates an abundance of love building inside you.

From this overflow you can more deeply love and care for others. When you are full yourself, you don’t demand from others. You have so much more to give, without depleting your own supply. With more than you need, you willingly and easily give.

One of the ways I use to love myself more is to stop seeing myself through my own eyes and start thinking about how others see me.  When I’m churning out phrases like “I’m such a loser,” “I have nothing of value to give,” I change my perspective and say, you know, my friends might see me in a different way.  They might say I do have something to offer.  Left to my own devices I might not be able to see what I have, but taking a different view helps to see the truth.  This clarity will build up over time.

Taking good care of myself helps too.  Whenever I do something nice for me, buy myself a gift, or make a choice that supports my health and well being, I feel self esteem growing. 

Another tactic is to remember to offer myself congratulations when they are earned.  It’s so easy to skip over the successes because there’s always another challenge ahead.  But taking the time to pause and notice what I’ve done creates more fertile ground for the love to blossom.

Listing the things I like about myself is a fun activity.  I start with rote items like a school report card, but then something happens.  It shifts gear and I find surprising things about myself. The more of these gems I can find, the deeper I feel about myself. It makes sense:  when you’re falling for someone you focus on those things you like best about them and your love grows.

SARK likes to give herself hugs.  I’d like to hug her for that one.  She knows a thing or two about loving yourself.

There are so many ways to love ourselves it’s a wonder we don’t do more of it!

From the book Wishcraft, by Barbara Sher

Some of the 7 characteristics of that environment are being treated as if you had a special kind of genius that was worthy of love and respect, encouraged to explore all your own talents and interests, and being bailed out of trouble without reproach.

After reading the list I felt the weight of growing up in a family dominated by boys. I don’t believe anyone ever thought I’d be anything but a mother. I needed no special training, nor encouragement to do that. I was loved and cared for. I had all I needed in terms of food, shelter and games to play. But not much more in preparation for life.

Bu there was something delicious about thinking what it would be like if I had been raised that way. It also gave me a sense of calm. Ah, this why my life is the way it is. I didn’t get what I needed to be anything more.

The Exercise, I’m pleased to say, was to write about “What You Might Have Been.” I had a lot of fun with that I think I would’ve been a rock journalist. It was just the right time for it, too. I probably would’ve married a rich rock star. With his money, I might have gone to school and become an architect. After designing and building a few homes (including my own) I may have grown bored and decided to settle down and have kids. While the children were growing up, I would’ve written my music business novel. I’m sure it would’ve gotten quickly published, as I am, after all, the wife of a famous rock star. From then on it would’ve been a busy life, combing the children and both our hectic tour schedules. Then again, maybe I would’ve settled on becoming a first-rate writer from the start, not needing so many things. It’s hard to say.

Barbara reassures us that it’s not too late. We can create the environment, the tools and supplies, the supports, we need. That’s good news. We can still have “the inner strengths that are built by good early nutrition – self-confidence and self-esteem and the courage to take risks.” Yes, ma’am! I’ll have a big helping of those, please.

She’s careful not to blame the parents. After all, as I always say, “My mother didn’t have Oprah,” or anyone else, but maybe Dr. Spock, to tell her how to raise children. (Mr. Spock might have offered more effective insights.) Many of our parents didn’t have a clue about all this and certainly weren’t raised in this kind of environment. My mother’s mother was too busy trying to figure out how to survive.

My parents, Barbara reckons, wanted to protect me from disappointment. My mother’s life didn’t end up as she may have dreamed. There were little choices for women in her day. To marry a good man, keep house and raise children was about it for her. No doubt she suffered greatly having to deal with her disappointment and didn’t want me to suffer in the same way. Barbara mentions jealousy as a factor, too. Even if they weren’t aware of it. “Suddenly they saw blooming in you all the qualities they had to squelch in themselves.” You could hardly blame them.

There’s some serious stuff here. I’m almost tempted to write a piece on each of her characteristics. The rest of the book, Barbara says, “is going to be your Portable Success Support System.” I’m looking forward to the next section, “Wishing.” Until next week, I continue to Wish.

May you always follow what you love, no matter what others say. Enjoy your own company and take note of those things that make your heart warm, that excite you and do them often.

Remember that you will always be loved and have friends, if you let them in.

Let your voice be heard and listen well to others, but make your own decisions. Know you deserve to be here, to be loved, respected, acknowledged for what you do and simply that you are.

Ask when you don’t know and always speak (and write) the truth when you think you do.

If you let people see who you are, what you’re excited about, they may not all like you. But the ones that do will support that in you, helping you to grow.

There’s really nothing cooler than the person who is herself, who does his own thing. These are not only the most interesting people, but also the ones that get what they want because they insist on giving it to themselves. The successful ones help others to get what they want.

The Course in Miracles says, “The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light and as innocent as love itself.”

Let it shine!

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