LOVE.  It’s a big topic.  Once I started digging and researching and reading… it just got BIGGER!

LOVE.  What it is.  What it isn’t. Love across cultures and religions and opinions.  It’s BIG.

But for this post,  we are talking about SELF LOVE.  And what is consistent across cultures, religions and opinions is if you cannot love your self, you are going to have one helluva time loving anyone else… AND getting the love that you need.

“Love brings with it the gift of freedom. Love teaches us to allow the person we love to do as he or she chooses. It teaches us to encourage the people we love freely make their own choices, to seek their own path, to learn their lessons their way in their own time.

Love means each person is free to
follow his or her own heart, seek
his or her own path. If we truly love,
our choices will naturally and freely serve that love well. When we give
freedom to another, we really give freedom to ourselves.

— Melody Beattie


John Lennon said something so beautiful and important about Self Love:

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.

— John Lennon

For many of us {read: ME}, it is much easier to look at other people; heap love and adoration and praise on others.  How many of us have actually stood in front of the mirror, LOOKED in to our own eyes and said “I LOVE YOU”?  “I love you, I cherish all of your hard work.  I see your tears and your laughter, your frustrations and your “wins”.  I see you.  I see it all and I love you.”

I can ASSURE you, not many of us have done this.  But I want to do it.  And even writing this is getting me pumped up to run to the bathroom and do it.  {You go do it and then run back and report back what you found out.}

Imagine a place where you can be completely yourself.  Imagine having the freedom to choose what is best for you in this moment and then that decision being met with acceptance.

“Go and love someone exactly how they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.1

— Wes Angelozzi

The quote above, by Wes?  That includes YOU.  Love yourself EXACTLY how you are; with the quirky grin, with the jacked up Thomas the Train hair {another story}, with the wrinkles and the fluffy tummy and the breast milk stained shirt… whatever it is… LOVE IT.

Imagine being totally accepted.  Imagine making a mistake and being told that it’s ok, that you are learning and that you should be patient with yourself.  Imagine having someone look at you in a way that tells you that they BELIEVE. IN. YOU.

The GOOD news?  ALL of these things are available to you right now.  They are because YOU get to say all of them to yourself.  And guess what?  When you say it, when you start to believe it, when you LOVE yourself…  you won’t be bothered with who doesn’t and you will gravitate toward those who do and who have all along.  You will see them so very clearly… and they will gravitate toward you.