One of the most important things you can do for your well-being and happiness is to indulge in the practice of self-love. By saying that you respect yourself more than anyone in the world is a form of self-love and an important aspect in fulfilling your life’s goals of happiness, prosperity and good health. But, too often, many women put others before them and this is a natural thing, a necessary thing to some; but in the meantime, they forget who they are and perhaps lose themselves in the process.

They begin to get depressed, lose focus and ambition and wonder what happened to their life to make them get to this point.

The answer is simple. They forgot the golden rule of self-love: if you don’t love yourself, you can’t expect others to love you, too.

Self-love is a chore you have to bestow upon yourself. You have to come to a point in your life where you are satisfied with your appearance and goals. You have to say to yourself, “Self, I am worthy.”

But, to some, it’s not that simple. They may want these things, but responsibilities get in their way of fulfilling their life’s destiny and, in short, they lose themselves to others.

So, how does one who has become lost be found again?

Easy, follow these five golden rules of self-love to become the person you want to be:

1.) Reboot your appearance

The first step in declaring self-love is to fall in love with yourself all over again. When you were borne, this came natural. Over time, you might have become insecure about your appearance and may have gone through a period of putting yourself down. Maybe your weight plummeted to a point where you were two sizes larger than the same time last year. Maybe your hair is turning slightly gray and sparse. Maybe those laugh lines just aren’t so funny anymore.

What you have to do is look in the mirror and declare truce with yourself. You have to say, “Self, I like you for who you are,” and smile back at your reflection. If this doesn’t work, make changes. Healthiness does not mean overweight, so take a stroll around the block once a day and breathe in that pure, clean air instead of the stuffiness of an apartment or office that you have been caging yourself in all those long, winter months. Let those laugh lines come…it’s a sign that you have lived a long and happy life!

2.) Free your inner prisoner

Once you have worked on the “outside” you, it’s time to work on the “inside” you and this is what we call your “innerself”. Your innerself is just as important, if not more important, than your physical self for your well-being and happiness.

There are thousands of women running around on automatic pilot and finding themselves consumed in everyday life that they forget to take on the most important person in their life and that is themselves.

The phone rings off the hook, dinner needs cooking and the family needs our attention. Sometimes we find ourselves lost in our world of giving to everyone else that we forget to nurture the one person who we should take of first. What’s going to happen if we don’t is that we are going to find ourselves in a place of sadness because in all our running around and tending to everybody’s wishes, we are bombarded by our own problems and dissatisfactions. How do we do everything for everybody and do for ourselves, too? We can’t.

We are not Superwoman, as much as we try, and we have to learn to accept that.

We have to sit down and take the time to look inside ourselves to see what it is that we want and make that happen for ourselves. Pop on a meditation tape and unlock the mysteries of how and why you tick. Do a little soul searching to unravel those problems stifling you from becoming a happy and well-adjusted woman. Before you know it, you’ll be smiling at yourself and when that happens, you’ll find that the world will be smiling right back.

3.) Morph out of dependency (and love it)

Now that you have worked on your physical and spiritual attributes, now is the time to put them in effect. The key phrase here is becoming independent, free of insecurities, poverty, and strife. The first thing you have to do is sit down and ask yourself if you are happy depending on others to make you happy. The answer would be of course not and the reason for this is that there is not one soul on this earth that can make you as happy as you want to be except for yourself. But, in order for this to happen, you must make a list of goals to achieve this. You cannot expect to become independent without knowing what it will take to get you there. The first thing on your list should be to accept responsibilities. Accept the fact that there is no one out there that is going to take care of you but yourself and only then will you find yourself completely independent.

4.) Get rid of bad karma

There was a story told to me of a woman whose life was filled with one strife after another. Her husband left her for another woman and her present boyfriend was abusing her. She tried to commit suicide three times only it just wasn’t her time. She had come from a long line of abusers; in fact, her son had gone on to abuse his own wife. The problem with both these people is that they have allowed bad karma to become a part of their life. What they aren’t aware of is that they can change their destiny and abusive patterns by getting rid of this bad karma and allowing good karma to come into their lives. The problem with getting good karma to come into your life is that the bad karma, as long as it has gained a threshold onto your life, overrides the good karma. Steps have to be taken now to get rid of this bad karma, whether it would involve separating yourself from the bad karma. Once you do this, you cannot allow it back in and you must put up a shield in which we will talk about next. Once this shield is in place, bad karma boomerangs off of it, but good karma seeps through, for this is your personal shield of protection. You only allow what you want to seep through and good karma is what you want.

5.) Put up your shield of protection

Your shield of protection is your personal protective force. It protects you against the adversities of life and in return you are granted a positive well-being. However, it takes time for this invisible shield of protection to work and it can only work if you believe in it. Holding hands with bad karma is not productive for your well-being and your shield will come in handy when it shows its ugly face. If you stand strong behind your shield, bad karma will dissipate. In time, the shield, and you, become stronger.

How this works is this. Let’s say you are sitting at the computer minding your own business and your significant other starts berating you for leaving your pantyhose hanging on the shower rod while, all along, you knew that your blood pressure was rising with each vocal statement he was throwing at you (bad karma). Don’t move. Imagine this invisible shield all around you full of love and protection. Eventually, your mood will change from fretfulness to one of complete peace. And, eventually, your mood will spread. After a few minutes, everyone will be at peace again. Not that the issue of leaving your pantyhose is resolved and it may be that all that is needed is taking care of the issue without any hard feelings, but this will avoid any unpleasant situations that might arise.

The bottom line is this. In order to be true to yourself, you must find time to reboot your life to become the happy, well-adjusted woman lying dormant inside of you. A woman full of love and happiness is a woman everyone desires. By taking that positive step towards finding the self-love you deserve, you open yourself to happiness and self-fulfillment and become the woman you want to be!

Author's Bio: 

Dorothy Thompson is a freelance writer, author, editor and journalist from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Her articles have appeared in such publications as the Eastern Shore News, Daily Press and USA Today, as well as her online writing site, The Writer’s Life, ( one of Writer’s Digest Magazine’s Top 101 Websites. She is also the founder of the Romancing the Soul series ( published by Zumaya Publications. Dorothy also writes a column, Ask Dorothy, ( where all your soul mate questions get answers.