The Habit of Loving You
Loving yourself isn’t easy. It’s not a matter of standing in front of the mirror and saying sweet things. It’s definitely not a matter of self-indulgence. Loving yourself requires work–the work to choose your best interests no matter how that choice feels.
Choosing to stay present to the pain at your center when it scares you, when you think you won’t stop crying, indicates self-love. You are choosing to be on your own side to heal rather than intellectualize and abandon your feelings.
Choosing to stay in school instead of leaving to earn money immediately indicates self-love. Choosing to avoid addictions or to grapple with them rather than pretend they don’t exist indicates self love.
Choosing the easy path reflects a lack of belief in yourself. Why do you need it fast and easy if you can have the best with perseverance and persistence? Do you want the best for yourself? Or are you afraid to try? It’s not a matter of hope or of words, but of action.
Loving yourself requires self-discipline every day. It requires saying “No” to the little self-destructive choices that most people rationalize. It’s choosing to exercise and to eat decently and to spend money wisely and to use self-restraint. Loving yourself thinks about the future, not just your comfort this second. Loving yourself means voting for maturity.
Loving yourself demands work and without that work you really can’t make self-loving choices. Without committed self-discipline, self-love is meaningless.