Sunday, February 5, 2012

Girl's Best Friend: It's Time to Learn How to Love Yourself

I’ve often said that self-love is the most important love you have in your life. Without it, you can’t fully love anyone else. I do think, however, people don’t really know how to love themselves completely. It’s so much easier to love our partners, our family, and especially, our children -- leaving ourselves neglected in the process.

I was talking with one of my sister-friends in Los Angeles this week as we sat in her backyard in the hills of Bel Air. It was a sight to see, looking out over what I call “La La land.” She’d seen me do my morning ritual – stretch, drink water, read the Daily Word, pray, and meditate. And, she asked me whether I do that every day.

“Yes, the great majority of days I do the exact same thing, always when I’m at my home and mostly when I’m on the road,” I explained. Last year, I implemented this ritual in the thick of a tumultuous time. However, I recently added something to the ritual – telling myself the things that I love about me each morning. Just like gratitude, listing the things that I love about me helps me to focus on what is good and right in my life and being.

“I would feel weird doing that, it seems a bit narcissistic,” she said.  Why? We are quick to point out our flaws and the things that are wrong with us. We beat ourselves up so much about this failure or that misstep. But, we don’t celebrate our successes and spiritual triumphs nearly enough. And, I wasn’t talking mostly about physical characteristics either.  (Although, I do think I’m cute.) You know you better than anyone else.  So, if you’re not celebrating the good that lives in you then, no one will.

The practice helped me so much during a time when others were trying to paint me to be something I was not. If you know who you are, no one can convince you differently. Moreover, the world in general, will try to define you based on your limitations and the best way to overcome that is to trumpet your abilities. Each day, I feel like I’m putting on my spiritual armor by first going to gratitude and then, loving on me.  

This morning, she tried, and she left the house feeling great and ready for the day. I can’t wait to speak to her later to see if it made any difference, but I do know she left with a pep in her step. And, with anything, practice makes perfect, which is why I practice it every day.

If you’re feeling unloved, the first place to look is within. You are truly the only person you can control and it’s the purest love you can get. Try this practice out for the week and get to the business of loving you!

Wishing you love and ceaseless joy!

Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.

Read more: ESSENCE


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