I have a lot to celebrate today.  To all the beautiful people in my life: I celebrate each and every one of you.

But today, above all else, I am celebrating that I’m falling in love with myself.

Let’s get honest here: I have a hard time loving myself. Many people laugh at me when I say this. Yes, I may be confident, but I am never satisfied with where I’m at in life. I always want to be more – happier, smarter, kinder, stronger, faster. Loving myself is complex and difficult. It’s a delicate balance: wanting to be the best that I can be, but loving and appreciating my life at that moment. I finally understand that in order for me to achieve the things I want – healthy relationships, success, adventures, happiness – that I must love myself first. I must learn to love me.

Sounds selfish doesn’t it? I thought so too, until I realized that falling in love with myself has allowed me to love others truly, completely and most importantly, better. Loving others is truly an inside job.

If loving yourself still sounds strange to you, think about this. Who is someone you truly love? How do you feel and act towards them?

Chances are you think they are pretty awesome. You enjoy spending time with them. You are compassionate and forgiving when they let you down. At the same time, you also have expectations for them. You might not love everything about them, but you love, accept and support them.

Now turn that love you have for someone else…inward, towards yourself. You are not infatuated with yourself, you still have expectations for yourself, and you don’t have to fulfill every selfish desire. But you love yourself unconditionally: you are kind, compassionate and loving.

Feeling more comfortable? Good.

Now the real question is: if you truly loved yourself, what would you do? I have realized that when I truly love myself:

  • I take the time to care for myself. I sleep in, meal plan, see a life coach, exercise and take that extra time to get ready. At times, I feel guilty about “wasting” time or spending alone time, but I am reminded that when I nurture myself, my body responds with vitality.
  • I indulge in things I love. Wine, books, laughing with friends, cinnamon dolce lattes and adventures, whatever makes me happy I make time and set a budget for. These things are to be celebrated, reminding myself when I spend the time or money for them that I deserve to enjoy them (keeping a gratitude journal helps track this).
  • I forgive myself. I have high expectations for myself, but I realize that my journey is defined by my lived experiences: the highs, lows, and everything in between. Loving myself means embracing and honoring all that I am and everything that has brought me to today.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 2.44.27 PMMy challenge to you (and to myself!) today and every day: add “Share my love with myself” to the top of the to-do list.

You are most deserving of your love.

Take the time to fall in love with you.

Happy Valentine’s Day my friends.

Xo.

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