All during the month of February, everyone’s thoughts are turned to love – love smothered in hearts, chocolates, stuffed teddy bears and diamonds. There are several definitions of love in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and I found this one particularly significant: “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of others”. I’m going to tweak that definition and change “of others” to “of yourself”. Yes, in this life, you must love yourself. It is okay for you to have an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for yourself.
You’re probably asking, “What was does love have to do with my personal growth?” EVERYTHING! If you are not concerned about yourself, if you don’t love yourself, you will make poor decisions and engage in destructive behavior time and time again. Here are five tips to help you love yourself:
1.Know and accept your weaknesses. Everybody doesn’t know or is able to everything. That’s the way life is set up and you can’t change it. Don’t beat yourself up. Life is also set up so that there is someone already in your life whose strength is your weakness. Numbers and I don’t get along so I have a financial advisor. She’s awesome and translates financial gobbledygook into something I can understand. Be concerned enough about yourself to find your strengther to help you.
2. Know and relish your strengths. In the same vein, everybody has a strong suit, something or things they excel in without trying. That’s the way life is set up and you can’t change it. Relish that you can sing, write, paint, organize, fix cars, etc. without breaking a sweat. Be concerned enough about yourself to develop your strengths and then find someone you can strengthen.
3. Accept others people the way they are. Everyone is different. Other people aren’t supposed to be a carbon copy of you. Again, that’s the way life is set up and you can’t change it. Our differences make each of us special. Make the effort to look for that “special” in a person and enjoy it. Adjust yourself if need be. If a person wants you to change her, she will let you know. Be concerned enough about others to respect their choices in life.
4. Develop others’ strengths. Again, everybody has a strong suit, something or things they excel in without trying. That’s the way life is set up and you can’t change it. When you see a person with a talent or gift, encourage her and congratulate her on achievements. Give guidance if you can. You may be the only person in her life in her corner. Being a hater or distractor or showing jealousy will get you nothing. The person will still have the talent. Be concerned enough about others to help them excel and flourish in life.
Practicing these tips daily will help you truly be loyal to and concerned about yourself to the benefit of you. You will grow as a person and love will come looking for you. Give yourself chocolates and a stuffed teddy bear and diamonds today!