What happens when we look in a mirror? We say “You’re so fat!” “Look at that wrinkle!” “You are definitely getting old!” All these things and much worse. Can you imagine saying to your best friend, “You are a mess! Your rear end is as big as a house!” We would never say these kinds of things to a friend. But when it comes to ourselves, it is a whole different story.
Imagine turning the loving attention and appreciation you give to your friends and family over to yourself. If you could stop the negative self-talk about being too old, too fat, too whatever. Imagine how it would feel to appreciate yourself for a change not defensively, not in reaction to negativity, but with real self-love. The kind we want from a lover but never learned to give ourselves.
The Innocent Lovable Self
Inside each one of us is an innocent, lovable self, just waiting to be discovered. If you are quiet long enough and sit with yourself, you will discover a beautiful ineffable essence that Kahlil Gibran calls, “a fragment of the Divine.” I know this whole business of self-love may be hard to relate to–like an impossible task for YOU–because of the negative chatter in your head about yourself or that the feelings of fear and anxiety can be overwhelming at times. So for those of you who are single or in unsatisfying relationships today’s step in our journey together is this: Fall in love with yourself and then you will find the love you seek. When you treat yourself well, you will choose partners who love you. As within, so without. This is one of the ultimate secrets for attracting a terrific partner.
How to Create Self-Love
The Diamond Self Way to Self-Love
Think back to when you were an infant, toddler or young child–when you were all smiles, alive and in the moment. You were born with innocence, natural curiosity and joy in the world. The original you was a fully present, adorable little being, in touch with all of her blissful feelings and naturally assertive and self-expressed.
When you were that sweet child running around, what did you enjoy? Was it the running around, or cooking on your Fisher Price play stove? Maybe it was sitting still staring at a bumble bee. Were you a big talker or a chubby witness who sat on your potty throne and took it all in? Did you love to finger paint? Think back and remember that early time when you were free to play and explore the world. What were you like? This is a time before you were boxed in by your parents’ and society’s expectations, fears, and neuroses. Before you were ignored, shamed or told you were bad. Before the limitations and fears set in.
Chances are all those early traits are still with you, in their grown-up manifestations. And they are all utterly you and OK. In fact, they are charming, even captivating. But they may be entirely hidden.
Use Childhood Photos to Create Self-Love
I have an old photo of myself from that innocent first era, before I closed down my heart and got shy to the point of being mute. It shows a cherubic three year-old in a beloved park where I used love to race around and climb all the rocks. I am sitting in the dirt, grinning wide-eyed at the camera, posing with joy and confidence, an impish tomboy in my dirty polka-dot dress. I keep the picture by my computer and look at it with great appreciation almost every day. That is me. In fact, when I watched myself on The Today Show recently, I giggled outright because I caught the tomboy imp in a dress staring back at me from the TV set.
Now take out a photo of yourself as a toddler or baby–you in all your innocence – that child who was born whole, perfect and beautiful. Put it near your computer or somewhere else where you can look at it several times a day. As you look at it, notice how wonderful, incredible, truly lovable that child is. For one second at a time, glance at the photo and prize that child who is you.
Feels amazing right? Remember to prize that being daily so that you find the one who will do so also. So start practicing self-love and be a loving partner to yourself.