There is someone that needs more kindness and understanding, someone who deserves all the love you can spare. That person is you. I am desperately trying not to sound like a cliche Hallmark card moment, but there are no other words that are coming to rescue me. This will have to do.

Why is it so hard to love ourselves? Not in a selfish way, but in the truest sense of the word. Why is it so easy to pretend everything is fine, when often it is not? We live up to make believe expectations we picked up from the expectations store and we beat ourselves up until we resign ourselves to feel worthless.

We have to stop and I know that this is easier said than done. We’ve done it our whole life and there are countless examples for which we can take ourselves to task for. There are many mistakes and regrets we can point to but at some point we need to choose to let go and start all over again. We need to forgive ourselves and set our sights on higher things.

To love or not to love that is the question, and the answer to that question will determine if you live amongst your dreams, or admire what never was at a distance. Showing compassion and love towards ourselves when there is so much to be critical about takes not only courage but discipline. You can’t change by getting drunk and forgetting yourself, or by denying and not facing the truth. You can’t change on am emotional high, nor can you find love by doing more and more and more.

One way to find more love and acceptance is to be conscious that we have multiple dimensions to our being. We have a physical body, a mind, and a soul. We have family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances. Each is a different dimension of our being and we are a different person for different people and in different situations.

Why is this important? Because, where the place where we need the most love is probably the area we are least successful in. You might be a great baker or organizer but you might struggle with your body image. Or you might be confident in your body, but struggle with your emotions. The combinations are endless, but regardless of where or how, we need love and lots of it.

That love has to come from within. We haves to stop using words to undermine ourselves. We have to stop talking badly about ourselves. We have to stop thinking terribly about ourselves. We have to realize that we do it, and work against it. How do we work against it? Do the opposite. Involve yourself with things you love to do. Do more of the things you’re good and successful at. Spend more time with people that love you instead of those who take you for granted or abhor your existence. Knowing how to shut off social media and say no to people goes a long way as well.

Love yourself. 

You owe it to yourself because you can’t love anyone else without it.

Cover photo generously provided by photographer Roman Kraft.