Welcome to February, the month of LOVE. When we hear of love at this time of year, most of us think of “Valentine’s Day,” flowers, chocolates, and cuddling with that special someone. But there’s a different kind of love we can choose celebrate. It’s the kind of love that most of us don’t talk about, or maybe even think about. But it’s one of the most important kind of loves we will ever have. Self love.

When you approach life not liking what and who you see in the mirror every morning, it affects what you do, what you say, what you think, and ultimately who you are. When you approach life liking (even loving) what and who you see in the mirror every morning, that also affects you.

Unfortunately, it seems easier to focus on what we DON’T like about ourselves, whether physical attributes or character traits. Our society values “perfection” (whatever THAT is) and holds to strict standards of physical beauty, neither of which helps matters. You only have to look at TV commercials, magazine ads, and pretty much any kind of advertising to realize what you don’t have and what advertisers would have you believing that you need in order to be better, more worthy.

But the truth is that you are already the best you that you can be. Right now, in this moment. Imagine what life would be like if you believed:
-You are the perfect version of you.
-You have everything you need to be happy and fulfilled.
-You are beautiful just the way you are.

Regardless of what we’ve been “programmed” to believe about ourselves (by others or the world), we all deserve to be:
-Accepted for who we are

But somewhere along the way, we’re told (or shown) something different. Through our experiences, the words and actions of others, and messages in the media, we might learn to believe we don’t matter and we’re not worthy, which can lead to thinking and feeling bad about ourselves, which then leads to treating ourselves poorly. We often treat ourselves how we THINK we are, rather than how we TRULY are. And the vicious cycle begins – think bad about self, leads to feel bad about self, leads to treat self badly…and because we treat ourselves badly, it makes us think and feel worse about ourselves.

One trap many of us fall into is looking for others to make us happy, love us, and accept us, especially when we ourselves aren’t able to do this for ourselves. But when you expect others to do for you that which you cannot do for yourself, it can be a dangerous trap. Looking outside yourself for validation sends a message that your opinion, your beliefs, and your feelings don’t count. When in reality, they are the only ones that do.

Here’s some tips to get back to loving yourself:

1. Be your own BEST FRIEND. How would your best friend describe you? Would they have the same harsh things to say that run through your mind? Or would their words be peppered with compliments, strengths, and glowing qualities? Write down a paragraph (or two or three) describing yourself through the eyes of your best friend. Once you write out your “best friend” description of yourself, read it. Then read it again. Then post it where you can see it. And every time you see it, read it. And take time to really FEEL it and let it in. Let a smile creep in, starting at your toes and working its way up to your face.
2. Think about what love means to you. What things do people say and do when they love someone else? Are they critical or gentle with their comments? Do they find the best in others and situations or do they constantly berate those around them? What little things do they do to show love? Think about love in terms of your five senses: sight, touch, sound, taste, and smell. Whatever love means to you, make a point to figure it out. It’s so important to know how YOU experience love. Because once you have an idea, then you can make it happen for yourself, whether or not you are in a relationship.
3. Make a list of all the things that make you feel loved. Remember to think in terms of your five senses. For example, a particular word or phrase (such as “I love you”) might conjure up feelings of love (sound); or your favorite decadent dessert (chocolate) might stir up something (smell, taste).
4. Pick one thing on your “things that make me feel loved” list each day and make it happen. If it’s a word or phrase, then say that to yourself. If it’s an action, go do it. The point is for you to be able to do something for yourself each day to show yourself love.
5. Fill in the Blanks. At the end of each day, finish this sentence (either out loud or in a journal), “one thing I love about me is _____.”

And for even more ideas on how to love yourself, please join me for my next monthly FREE Telseminar, “Loving the Reflection in the Mirror: The Secret Power of Self Love and Positive Self Talk.” Simply go to the REGISTRATION page at http://krylyn.com/free-teleseminars/loving-the-reflection, and enter your name and email to get signed up. Even if you can’t attend the live call, you will get access to the recording of the call, but only if you register.

Author's Bio: 

Krylyn Peters, MC, RTC is a Self Care Coach and Singer/Songwriter who specializes in helping women feel better about themselves, let go of negative thoughts and painful feelings, and get back to balance no matter what life throws at them. For further information about her work, including her FREE monthly teleseminar series on Making Yourself a Priority in 2012 and her FREE Breathing Meditation download, please visit http://www.krylyn.com.