How many of us really love ourselves – wholly and without conditions?

Many of us would answer that with a “sometimes” or “yes, except for that bulge in my belly, or my fat thighs, or…”. Or perhaps you answer with a yes, but deep inside you see yourself as a failure every day, or not as happy/slim/successful/fit/wealthy* (delete as appropriate) as you should be, or compared to your friends or colleagues. If so, there is probably a part of you that you find it hard to love.

Often, this comes from something in our past, which we make mean something about how our present and future is going to go. A comment that someone made. A relationship that ended badly. A commitment that we didn’t fulfil. A perception that with the opportunities we have had, we should have done better. And because we relate to that thing in us as broken, and unchangeable, there is nothing we can do about it. In that place, we are stuck in a perpetual cycle of self-loathing.

And here’s the thing. Without true self-love, a lot of stuff isn’t really possible. When we exist in a state of self-loathing, or perhaps just self-not-really-liking-very-much, creating powerful relationships is pretty much off the table. As is genuine trust. As is true commitment. In a relationship without self-love, the chances are we are looking externally to fill that gap. Relying on external validation works up to a point, but doesn’t bring real contentment, or peace with ourselves. And the other thing is – this isn’t fixed, it isn’t a fact. We get to choose how we relate to ourselves.

It is something I have struggled with for a long time. And, I’m committing to creating a loving, long-term relationship with a partner. So for me, that creation starts with learning to love myself exactly as I am. Even the bits I don’t love. Even the bits I think no one else would or could ever love. Choosing to love my whole, complete, magnificent self is the beginning of creating open, wonderful, powerful relationships in my life.

Take a look. What would it look like if you truly loved yourself? And what would that make possible for you?

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