I’ve been a fan of Leo Buscaglia’s since tenth grade psych class. His book, ‘Living, Loving and Learning,’ left a strong imprint on my teenaged psyche; I mean, how many people tell you to love yourself, and to hug random strangers in elevators? If you’ve never heard of Leo Buscaglia, get to the library quick and read this book. His funny, witty outlook on life will change you for the better, promise. I recommend it highly, and you will see, that Leo was way ahead of his time. He has a recurring theme about mindfulness (I know – don’t say it!) and about how navigating the many obstacles of life, we need to hit pause, breathe deeply and practice loving. Mostly of ourselves.
So dear readers, what did Leo know? He knew that by long others and showing them kindness comes naturally. More so in fact, than loving ourselves. Most of us are quick to offer friendship, and to accept others with their many flaws, so why are we so hard on ourselves? Loving yourself is important. After all, we spend an inordinate amount of time with ourselves, shouldn’t we at least like ourselves? We all need to learn to appreciate our inner strength and beauty, since liking the person that you are can greatly impact your happiness. Now I know, again you’re thinking I’ve lost my mind, but think about how positive and mindful we can be when we accept and love the person that we are, faults and all. With practiced gratitude, we can appreciate the person reflected in the mirror.
Let’s begin with re-introducing ourselves to the totally awesome, sparkly, creative, amazing person that we are; think for a moment about your passion. We are all driven by desires that stem from the passions we have, for art, business, or long walks with your dog. Let go of your frustration. Stop worrying about where you think you should be in life, and be grateful for the imperfections that led you to where you are now. Nobody leaks perfection, and each of us is interesting and unique. Once you accept this, and are thankful for your individuality, you may suddenly find that you actually LIKE the person staring back from the other side of the looking glass. All your flaws, mistakes…these are what make you, well…you. And you are fantastic! (Have I told you that dear reader? ) we are all special, unique and one of a kind, and we all arrive at our destination the way we are meant to, so lighten up.
Now that you have met yourself, spend some time alone with the incredible person with whom you have just become reacquainted. Spending time alone is a great way to reflect and refresh. It’s about being mindful of the person we are inside, not the person we present to the world. It’s a way to step back, and learn who you really are, in case you got lost along the way.
There are lots of things you can do on your own to increase your happiness factor, and love your uniqueness. Take yourself in a date. Spend time meandering the lined galleries of a museum or the loaded shelves of the livery. Learn something new. go to the craft store for supplies and inspiration. Hobbies are a great way to express yourself, boost self confidence, and to appreciate and love phenomenal you.
And now, my friends, I need to revisit that topic of toxic friendship. Some people, even well intentioned ones, can make you feel awful. These Negative Nellies make you think less of yourself, and cause self doubt and low self esteem. Learn to walk away. Remove these toxic people from your social circles. They aren’t helping you to grow or to like who you are. Loving your unique, one of a kind self with all your quirky habits will make it easier to dump the wastrels and move ahead to peacefulness and happiness. It’s much easier to enjoy life when surrounded by people who cherish and genuinely care about you.
So my friend, who are you? What do you love? To truly love yourself, there needs to be a fiery passion. A hobby, travel, or something else that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Try new ventures, travel somewhere new, taste new foods, get lost in the bookstore; learn about things you never heard about before. The more diverse the things that comprise who you are, the easier it will be to love yourself.
Last, but certainly not least, be courageous. Trust yourself and your instincts. Be brutally honest with yourself, always. Learn to admit to yourself how you really feel about situations and events in your life. Listen to your gut. Only you can change where you are, which changes your happy and helps you love your awesome self. Live with what feels right. You’ll make better decisions and won’t do anything to intentionally hurt or abandon your true self. You will live freer, love better and thank yourself, the wonderful, loving, amazing human that you are (I know, you forgot, but it’s ok.)
Alright, let’s end back with Leo. He had the right message all along. Love yourself, love life and love others. Give love, get love. You are worthy of great love and happiness, and you are lovable.
With love, hugs and coffee kisses until next time. 💋☕️