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Do You Love Yourself?

I have been on a self-love adventure for the past two years of my life, and I can tell you honestly that I now truly love myself. Yes, I said it. I love me! It feels so free to admit to you that I indeed love myself, and (here’s the best part) not feel guilt or shame or embarrassment in saying it.

It certainly wasn’t always like this. I guess I liked myself growing up, but with a mom devoting love to me 24/7, getting recognition for being a star student, and receiving applause from audiences when I performed, I didn’t exactly need to love myself. I got “love” from other people and for my achievements. Which is why once all of these things were gone, I crashed.

Somewhere in between college, where as a musical theatre major I was constantly told how fat, untalented and “not enough” I was (apparently theatre directors think that this sort of thing toughens you up) and my early-mid-twenties when I was struggling to figure myself out, leave an unhealthy relationship, and generally just get my footing, I lost my self-love. It must have fallen out of my pocket one day and I never even noticed it was gone. (Or more realistically, it wasn’t actually ever there to begin with.) Until I did suddenly notice, and I blurted out to my life coach one day: “Ummmm, I don’t think I love myself!”

Without anyone else to love me as much as I desired, or achievements to validate myself from, or really much of anything going on in my life, I realized then that I needed to love myself just for being ME, without all of the “stuff.” The Uni-verse was giving me the perfect situation to find this self love: I didn’t have a career to define myself by, or a relationship to hide behind, or anything tangible to validate myself with. I had to dig really deep and learn to love myself just for BEING. Not for doing anything, but for just being myself. My beautiful, wonderful Self.

It started with a lot of healing and accepting of where I was, who I was, and what I had gone through. I did (and still do) a LOT of self-forgiveness for the judgments I had placed on my past, my present and my body. As the layers started to peel away, I had a bigger and more conscious realization that I was a child of The Uni-verse, a beautiful, wonderful child of The Uni-verse, and that I was made just the way I am for a purpose. And so are you. You are wonderful. You are beautiful. You are exactly the way you are designed to be. And if anyone has told you otherwise, it’s perhaps because they didn’t love themselves.

Loving myself doesn’t outwardly appear very different, at least I don’t think so. I don’t shower myself with gifts, I’m not shouting about my love from the stern of a ship, and nothing looks drastically different. But inside, it’s a whole new story. I have this deep inner well of love for myself, and it’s pure because it has nothing to do with what I’m doing- only with who I am. I accept myself and also still recognize where I can grow in life (lots of areas!!) and in consciousness; but now it comes from a loving place instead of an “I need to fix myself” kind of place. It feels very peaceful to me, and I’m sure that as I grow to love myself even more, it will keep evolving and changing.

Do you feel like your inner self-love well is full? Or is it dry? Do you constantly belittle yourself or think that you should have done something differently? Do you have judgments about your past? About your present? Do you think something about you “should” be different? Are there things about yourself that you actually don’t like at all? I can tell you, I really hear that and I get it! But I am here to tell you that you are perfect. Your past was perfect, your present is perfect, and YOU are perfect.

If you are finding yourself having a strong emotion in reaction to what I just said, here are some things I have learned to help you uncover your own self-love:

1)         Forgive, forgive, forgive! Forgive yourself for all the judgments you have thrown and continue to throw on yourself. None of them are true. Not a one.

2)        Everything in your life that has happened, is happening and will happen is perfect. It all happened for a reason and it is perfect.

3)        You have always done the best that you can do, even if it seems like you haven’t.

4)        You haven’t done anything wrong, even if it seems like you have.

5)         You are SOOOOOO incredibly worthy of your own love and affection.

I am doing this exercise, inspired by a class that I recently took to tell myself at least five things per day that I love about myself! Join me? It’s fun, and even if it feels silly or uncomfortable at first, I promise it will get easier. And if you feel called to, I would love it if you shared those five things with me and the other TDL Readers! We can all benefit from the self-love you share with us. Now, go get loving yourself!

Love,

Erinn

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Erinn Selkis is a health and wellness counselor who compassionately supports her clients to improve all aspects of their lives through nutrition and personal growth. Check out her coaching website at http://www.erinnselkis.com.

  • Tina

    “The Uni-verse was giving me the perfect situation to find this self love” – wise words! Thank you, Erinn, for allowing me to see I’m in this same place, too.

  • Tina

    “The Uni-verse was giving me the perfect situation to find this self love” – wise words! Thank you, Erinn, for allowing me to see I’m in this same place, too.

  • Christina

    I sometimes have a difficult time with forgiveness, but I’m working on it.
    What I love about me: my openness to learn new things; my fabulous body for all that it does; my ability to connect with others; my trust in all things; and my smile (because it can transform a terrible moment into a fabulous moment).
    Thanks, Erinn!

  • lisa

    this was great! i saw a spiritual advisor the other day and i was told that i need to work on this – being comfortable with my life and grateful for what i have. i need to stop feeling guilty about the choices i’ve made and just have gratitude for the amazing life i have – and it is amazing!

    5 things i love about me:

    1. i have an incredible abitlity to love
    2. i have a great sense of humor and can make anyone laugh
    3. i am a great listener and love to council my friends and family
    4. i am generous with my love and i always try to “kill them with kindness”
    5. i am much more intelligent that i give myself credit for!!!!

    bonus: i recognize that there are things about my life that i need to change for me and for my daughter and i will not give up until i can let go of the past, forgive everyone that needs forgiving and find inner peace.

  • Mstoler14

    1. I have a pure heart with the desire to give love in the most needed ways.
    2. I am a good listener, patient with the speakers.
    3. I am very open-minded to all types of healing and people.
    4. I am driven and focused towards my goals and dreams.
    5. I appreciate the little things like cold water and beautiful leaves on trees.
    Thank you for this opportunity. Still very much in the beginning stages of self love.

  • Kristin

    Erinn,
    Thank you thank you thank you!  This is one of the best things on self-love I have read in a long time.  I have been going through a hard time in terms of a lot of self-loathing, self-doubt, and I know I need self-love but it’s hard to find practical advice on “how-to” attain it.  Your article is great!

    So here are my five things:
    1. I am a good leader — I can make decisions within a team and people trust me.
    2. I do really well when I attack science aggressively (I’m an engineer)
    3. I have gorgeous hair
    4. I am funny
    5. I am adventurous

    Thanks!

  • StrongerEveryday

    1. i am very creative and have excellent visionary abilities and gifts
    2. i am a good listener
    3. i love nature and try to always respect it
    4. i am empathic – i care very very deeply for others and feel their pain as my own
    5. i truly want the world to be a better place

  • Claudia

    is great you can show us this way of life.
    we need to learn how to love ourselves
    thanks a lot!

  • Ray_of_sunshinee

    Wow. This article is incredible. It really stirred up emotion within me but I love it ! Thank you :)

    1. I love how willing I am to keep growing and evolvolving accepting and resonating with new perspectives no matter how often they change.
    2. I love how excited and amused I am by the littlest things such as clouds, cool airplanes, swings, ect. I have a high pitch happy voice lol :)
    3. I love my style and how I put everything together from the clothes, to the jewelry, to the hair.. I love putting myself together :)
    4. I love passion toward other things. I really feel everything I see in a deep connected way that always moves me.
    5. I love my creativity in life :) I’m just discovering how to mold my personality, thoughts, and life. And I love my own unique and creative journey and also love learning and relating to others journeys as well :)

    Wow.. I didn’t realize I could get that in depth haha ;D

    Thank you for that
    Love and light to everyone<3

  • Devi

    I think i’ll join the exercise….thank you for this wonderful post Erinn

  • Erinn

    I love all of your self love comments!! Keep ‘em coming :):) 

  • antoinette

    i’ve been struggling with self love for some time now…. thank you so much for your words of encouragement! 

  • Victoria

    I really like this post, thank you. …finally some practical information on how to attain self-love.

    1. I love my eyes; they are beautiful.
    2. I love my heart: I like that I truly care about other people, and I always try to help other people whenever I can.

    3. I love the creativity that God gave me: I love my passion and love for music, art, and dance, and how it moves me.
    4. I love that I can admit when I have made a mistake, and how I grow as a person.
    5.  I love my resourcefulness, and how it always comes in handy when I need it, and I truly thank God for making me who I am today.

    Great exercise! Kudos!

  • Trajae Travel

    Andrea!  1.  Im fearfully and wonderfully made by God, when He created me He called it Good. 2.  Im wonderful just the way I am.  3. Im beautiful from the inside out.  4.  Im prosperous in life, love and relationship, most assuredly with myself.  5.  I am who I say I am, and I have what I say I have.  Speak your greatness into existence.  Even when its to hard to believe.  Everything happens for a reason.  Just remember that !!  Im doing my best.   I love all of you TDL founders and readers and you all have a blessed day.

  • Roya

    Thank you for you blog, it is wonderful, and helps a lot!  

    1.  I love my deep creativity, and how I am drawn to and respect creativity in others.
    2.  I love that I am a observant and notice the details.
    3.  I love my eyes…deep and brown.
    4.  I love that I am passionate about many things.
    5.  I love my curly hair.

  • Anonymous

    I love this article! I’m an advocate for self-love and often shout it from the rooftops! Okay, maybe not actual rooftops, but I do write about it often on my blog.

    In addition to my own articles, I previously published an article of links to some of my favorite blog entries about self-love, located here: http://www.liveandlovework.com/2011/06/21/love-yourself-links-to-love/

    This article is going in my files for the next time I post great self-love links.

    Re-tweeted & liked! Thanks for the inspiration today!

    Chrysta

  • Michael Pagliarulo

    Great piece of writing, Erinn!  I think you’re on to something big.  Keep sharing your wonderful journey of loving you.  BTW, I really think you should call it the “YOUniverse” !!

  • http://twitter.com/YogicAli Alison Widdoes

    Great post!!  Hit very close to home on what I was just writing about on radical self-acceptance.  The need to do or achieve to feel worthy, etc, then realizing none of that matters when you value yourself regardless. Here was my bit, http://completebalance.com/blog/item/radical-self-acceptance.html

    Thanks for sharing, you rule.

  • Christine

    wonderful article!! thank you :) i am still on my journey, some of it i still don’t internalize, but i will get there :)

  • Valleryy911

    1-I am compassionate.
    2-I am beautiful.
    3-I am funny.
    4-I am generous.
    5-I embrace my life, where I am.

    These are new and in progress learned traints.

    • Valleryy911

      Sorry for the typos.  Couldn’t see what I’d typed.  TRAITS.

  • Valleryy911

    OH MAN…I’ve so enjoyed reading everyones comments.  Be well everyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1263439670 Alesia Moreno

    1. I love how no matter what I’m going through, I ALWAYS keep the peace.  Whether it be with family or friends or work or home.  At the gym, when I’m mad or sad or happy or in a  twist.
    2.  I love how simple I am.  I eat simply, I dress simply. I spend simply.  I speak simply.
    3. I love my curious nature.  It allows me to explore anywhere and everywhere and anyone and everyone’s different personalities, cultures, minds, behaviors, etc. 
    4.  I love that I’m an upber mentally/emotionally expressive person.  It allows people to experience the many dimensions of my self and get to know them and appreciate them. 
    5.  I love my strong-horse nature.  As much as I project myself as a sensitive/sensible lady – I would still be strong enough to handle just about ANYTHING on my own if I needed to.

  • Erin

    1. I love my sense of humor and my wit
    2. I love what a cool friend I am all around
    3. I love how competent and capable I am
    4. I love my insight and awareness
    5. I love how patient I am and that I am never in a hurry.

  • Cyberdee

    Wow.  Great stuff.  I agree with Kristin…best article I have read on self-love in a long time.  I have recently been transitioning into such fulfilling self-love similar to what you have described.  It is the real acceptance of self that truly helps one to get there solidly.  I actually had a dream the other night about how wonderful it is to be with me! Very peaceful feeling.  Thanks so much to everyone for sharing.

    1.  I love that I am a great listener.
    2.  I love that I respond with love and intelligence.
    3.  I love my willingness to change.
    4.  I love my creativity.
    5.  I love that I keep clear of clutter in my life.

  • http://waystoselflove.com Shevy

    This is amazing….

    1. I love that my open heart has allowed me to have friends of all ages, ethnicity, religious background, sexual orientation etc from over 22 different countries.
    2. I love my ability to retain copious amounts of information in short periods.
    3. I love that I am extremely resourceful and always ready to share those resources with anyone who asks.4. I love that I am intuitive and can read situations easily.
    5. I love the God has blessed me with the gift to write.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FY5QYPTNNFYAJTW3VGVGXV5RQU Ema

    Dear Erinn
    Your article touched me so deeply that I found myself crying cause I felt as if  you have been talking to me .
    As a child whose parents got divorced , I lost my love to myself , I even thought myself unworthy of being loved.
    My whole life I have been missing the kind of love one gets from his parents, this unconditioned love and was looking for it in all my relationships ,but in vein …. For how can you get the love from others when you can’t love yourself ?
    I am trying to change this now ….
    Here are the five things I love about myself:
    1. I have a high sense of humor
    2. I am very insisting,which means when I put something in my mind I usually find a way to do it
    3. I enjoy little things around ,even the ones most people wouldn’t recognize
    4. I can find the good side of other persons and discover the inner beauty that exists within each of us
    5. I am a helpful person and enjoy supporting my friends and the people I love
     
    Thank you !

    • Erinn

      Ema, thank you for your kind words and I am so glad that it spoke to you. Your 5 things you love about yourself are beautiful! Thank  you for sharing and you are so on your way to giving yourself the love you’ve always wanted.

  • Charis31080

    1: I was able to get and stay sober
    2: I am a creative thinker
    3: I do have great hair
    4: I have a big heart
    5: I’m incredibly open minded and don’t judge others

  • Daniela25

    I have been having a hard time realizing that for the past year. I am still dwelling on it, but I work on it every day.  Thank you so much :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/botanicalbeauty Nivia L. Di Vincenzo

    WOW! Thank you for this! So here are my Five Things I love about myself:
    1. My smile
    2. My crazy afro in the making hair
    3. My capacity for HUGE Love- of myself and others
    4. How passionate I am about the things/people I love
    5. My journey of self awareness

    I am going to do this everyday! 

  • Sam Clark

    What an amazing blog! and such a great reminder..
    5 Things I LOVE about ME!

    1. I am strong in body and in mind
    2. I am a great listener
    3. I am passionate
    4. I am a giver, I give freely and selflessly to those I love
    5. I am determined, I will achieve all that I want

  • Cristal

    Thanks for that!!

    1. I love the fact that Im allways smiling, no matter what happens to me!
    2. I love how much tender and kind I am, and how I make people feel good.
    3. I love my small and beautiful hands
    4. I love the fact that I am open to all the beauty around me: trees, sea, RAIN, children, EVERYTHING!
    5. I love my view of life, and how I can learn, and love, and sing, and being at anytime!

    Wow! I really love me! And I love you for inspiring me to do this!

  • Zunny

    1. I am funny
    2. Im allways relax, trying to see the possitive side of the things
    3. Im a really good dancer!
    4. I am natural and beutiful, whitout using any makeup.
    5. I listen, understand and love people around me.

  • Erinn

    It is SO inspiring to read all of your love lists, and I am so touched by all the love that was shared on here today! Thank you for your contributions and LOVE :):):) You are all so beautiful.

  • Living in the NOW

    Wow, as if the Universe knows how I need to get inspired, Erinn, thank you for your post.  The title grasped my attention because this is exactly the thing I am working on.  I feel very little of myself, even now because of years of judgement that’s put on myself by myself or the people I trusted the most.  However, I am wasting any of my present moment on the past or the future anymore.  I want to love myself, even though it seems to be flat now as I am discovering TRUE myself and letting go of all the “self” in my mind and thoughts.  I am a daring person, as I am putting these thoughts on here.  However, I have been hiding behind my business success, and then a marriage.  Now, without the business success, with a husband who insists on me being in the present moments instead of in my thoughts and judgements and negativities, I am enjoying the moments of NOW and the me in these moments of NOW.  I love myself enough to understand that it could take a while for me to establish the connection with my TRUE self in this moments.  I am having a hard time feeling my feelings that are coming up in the moment but I know with consciousness, my feelings will gradually be more and more vivid.  

  • http://twitter.com/HeatherSchultz ♥Heather Schultz♥

    5 things I love about me!
    1. I’m creative and talented, especially in music.
    2. I’m passionate about things and people I believe in.
    3. I’m absolutely hilarious.
    4. I’m persistent and have a drive to go for my dreams.
    5. I’m a good daughter, friend, and mom to my parakeets.

  • Misuldo

    Well, let me see….it does f eel a but uncomfortable but I guess it’s a very good exercise, I surely should love myself more! So thanks :)

    1. I love my creativity (at work and in life!)
    2. I love my hazel-green eyes with straight, brown eyelashes
    3. I love how random, happy-go-lucky and positive I am most of the time
    4. I love my passion for leading a life I’d like to live
    5. I love the way I look in a little black dress & heels (rather random, but everything can’t be deep, right? :D)

  • Ms Haute Sauce

    Thank you Erinn for sharing your story.  L LOVED this article. 

  • SnoreNoMore

    1. I love that i have an Open Mind
    2. I love that i am tall
    3. i love that i have a full head of hair
    4. I love that know how to eat right and be healthy
    5. i love that i am good with technology

    Good exercise…harder than i thought….but its a start!

  • Jennifer

    Erinn, I had a very difficult time finding 5 things I love about me. It’s an ongoing part of my life as I try to figure out who I am. I was reading the emails of others and realized what I liked about the poster I also loved in myself. So here it goes. The below are 5 things I love about me, myself and I.

    1.  I love that I have a wicked sense of humor.
    2. I love how I am accepting of people regardless of color, religion or sexual orientation.
    3. I love how I have a thirst for knowledge and I can’t stop learning.
    4. I love that I am persistent. If there is a solution to something I’ll find it.
    5. I love my eyes. They are blue and in some light look blue-green.

  • guest

    thank you for this. im a 16 year old girl and i really don’t remember the last time i loved myself, i am always wishing i could be someone else, look like someone else, it feels like i just go from one person to the next, skipping myself.  i think the hardest part for me is accepting that i am perfect and beautiful, and deserving of my love.  I have spent so much time hating myself and being bored of myself that i lost sight of everything that makes me me. I can’t say that i will be able to go on loving who i am right now, but i can say that your article was really incredible. i hope that one day i will be satisfied with who i am, it sounds amazing

  • http://yogizilla.wordpress.com/ Yomar

    I love this here and I love you for sharing a positive message amidst a sea of salty dogs and excessive caustic glibness.  Sometimes, we do need to take ownership and kick ourselves before someone else does..  Holding yourself accountable is important BUT…

    I feel too many people victimize themselves, obsess over silly little things, and kill themselves each day slowly.  If you don’t love yourself, if you’re not at least a little selfish at times, then eventually there will be nothing left of you to give.

    Loving yourself is healthy.  It’s good for your soul.  That’s why I am so big on personal development.  I know that I am flawed and I embrace my flaws..  You should too!

    Play up your strengths and realize that everyone has something special to share with the world.  If we constantly seek affirmation in credit in life, the hurt will never end.  It’s all about confidence and being a self-starter.

    Take a stand.

    Stick by your core values and be principle-driven in your life.  When you take a stand and find a voice that’s all your own, eventually others will listen and care..  And, if they don’t, no worries – you’re still awesome!

    Have a wonderful and fulfilling day, everyone! =o)

  • Ovennnnn

    I love that I am a friendly person and can make people feel very comfortable in my company. I am a warm person. 
    I love that I am witty and really rally smart
    I love that I am so strong and can bounce back from any adversity
    I love that I am spontaneous and adventurous
    I love ALL my quirks about myself. 
    I love that I am so loyallll 

    I LOVE ME!!

  • Daniela25

    Thank you so much:) I am on my way to fully realize this for myself. Getting closer and closer each day:)))

  • chacha

    I appreciate your voice, you are radiant in that portrait! I’m crying now and I want to list five loves for myself, but I can’t even do that.  Just the idea of loving myself hurts.

    I’m definately stuck in the “fix me” stage. I read all this and understand but still can’t get there.

  • Laurs1514

    1. I love that I laugh easily and that it’s loud and genuine.
    2. I love that I always try to be a better person.
    3. I love that I accept my friends for who they are, faults and all.
    4. I love that I am a good person and try to do the right things.
    5. I love that I have a will to survive and push through hard times.