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August 29th, 2011

Love Yourself. I mean it.

So, Friday I wrote “You deserve to love and be loved. You deserve happiness and joy and wonder.” I want to reiterate this, especially given that I’m starting to get traffic from keyword searches like “body acceptance.” Now when I said you deserve to be loved, I didn’t just mean by another person, as nice as that is. You deserve to love yourself.

I’ll repeat that – you. deserve. to LOVE YOURSELF. Not five pounds from now or fifty pounds from now. Not when you change your nose or dye your hair. Not when you quit smoking or get sober. No matter how you look or what kind of behaviors you have that you desperately want to change, you deserve to love yourself, right now, TODAY.

Oddly, once you commit to loving yourself, you’ll find some of the less prudent habits you have will change. When you love yourself, you stop being willing to hurt yourself. You start wanting to really take care of someone who matters to you – YOU. You find that you can be kinder to yourself when you make mistakes. You’ll find that, left to your own loving and nurturing, you really will make more prudent decisions regarding your health.*

But aside from all that, you are a valuable, worthwhile person just by being you, regardless of what “bad” habits you have. There’s no one else in the entire world who’s you. No one. That makes you pretty damn special, don’t you think? So, instead of trying to force yourself to be someone else, LOVE YOU. (Wasn’t it Wilde who said: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”?) Find a way to express the best you there is.

Maybe some of you are saying, “But HOW?” Welp, that’s tomorrow’s post.

*I want to clarify that I do not believe that addiction can be conquered solely through self-acceptance and love. I think, however, WITHOUT those things, addiction cannot be conquered at all. But remember – I’m just a layperson. What do I know from addiction treatment?
P.S. I want to add this caveat – I am in no way a professional qualified to offer therapy, medical advice, etc. I write this stuff because it’s what I think and what’s working for me. These posts are never, ever intended to replace treatment by a competent professional.