After years of dealing with obesity, low self-esteem and binge eating disorder I learned there is only one thing that can heal everything and that is to learn to love myself.
It was not an easy journey, and it took a lot of time and work. When I started to love myself more each day, my life started changing for the better. I found the courage to sell my business which was no longer making me happy and start working towards doing what I love – that is helping other people with their health and practicing my photography and travelling. I managed to break off relationships with people in my life who were toxic and form new relationships and friendships with people who motivate and inspire me and who push me to be the best I can be because they love themselves too and can look at the world positively.
It’s a simple premise—loving yourself. I have been criticised for being too simplistic about this, and I have found that the simple things are usually the most profound.
Someone said to me recently, “You gave me the most wonderful gift—you gave me the gift of myself – you made me believe I was strong and smart and beautiful and my life changed drastically from that day.”
So many of us hide from ourselves, and we don’t even know who we are. We don’t know what we feel, we don’t know what we want. I spent so many years looking in the mirror and feeling like I did not know the woman I saw staring back at me. Today I can say that what I see in the mirror matches what I feel inside. Have you ever felt that way?
Life is a voyage of self-discovery. Spend some time discovering yourself, do you know who you really are? I meet so many people who define themselves as someone’s wife, mother, sister, but cannot tell you anything about themselves! Do you know what makes you happy or what is making you unhappy?
It’s not selfish to love ourselves. It opens us up so that we can love ourselves enough to love other people. We can help people around us when we come from a space of great love and joy on an individual basis. When we love ourselves, we also show others how we expect to be loved and treated.
I am sure you have often heard the statement: Love makes the world go ’round. Love is the glue that holds everything together. And of course we must love our family and those around us but once you love yourself and treat yourself how you deserve to be treated the universe and people around you will love you back and appreciate you.
To me, love is a deep appreciation. When I talk about loving ourselves, I mean having a deep appreciation for who we are. We accept all the different parts of ourselves—our little peculiarities, the embarrassments, the things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities, too.
I am not perfect, but I love myself with my imperfections. I don’t mind that I still have a protruding tummy and big thighs because I eat healthily and I work out and those things will resolve themselves. Unfortunately, many of us will not love ourselves until we lose the weight, or get the job, or get the raise, or find a boyfriend, or whatever. We often put conditions on our love. But we can change. We can promise to love ourselves completely – flaws and all.
I believe that all of us who are living at this time chose to be here to be a part of these changes, to bring about change, and to transform the world from the old way of life to a more loving and peaceful existence. We need to teach generations to come that love is the secret ingredient.
If you are not willing to love yourself today- if you are not willing to do the work to make your life and health better, then you are not going to love yourself tomorrow, because whatever excuse you have today, you’ll still have tomorrow. Maybe you’ll have the same excuse 20 years from now, and even leave this lifetime holding on to the same excuse.
Love is something we can choose, the same way we choose anger, or hate, or sadness. We can choose to be grateful for what we have. We can choose love. It’s always a choice within us.