Gently, Deeply, Happily

When was the last time you said “I love you” to yourself? When did you last look in the mirror and celebrate yourself instead of criticizing? When was the last time you thought to yourself “I am awesome…worthy…or beautiful…”? When was the last time you praised yourself for doing well at school, work, or congratulated yourself for getting out of bed when the world felt like too much. 

For far too many of us, there’s a good chance it hasn’t been recently. We often get too caught up in our perceived flaws or mistakes and focus too heavily on these, forgetting to celebrate the amazing, unique and important individual we truly are! We are striving to be perfect in every sense, which gets in the way of celebrating other wonderful aspects of ourselves. Instead of looking at the countless aspects that make us up, we zoom in on the ones we don’t like but what do others notice about us? Is it the one flaw we’re focusing on or the intricate, beautiful aspects that we don’t even realize other people see. 

Imagine viewing yourself through the eyes of your loved ones – a friend, family member, pet, or anyone else who loves and admires you. What do they love most about you? Maybe it’s your sense of humour, your eyes, your empathy, whatever it may be – allow yourself to focus on that too. And if you don’t know – ask! 

In a world filled with negativity and judgement, try to be one of the people who focuses on the wonderful parts of life and yourself. Next time you look in the mirror or talk aloud, reflect on the things you love about yourself. It doesn’t always need to be big and groundbreaking, but it’s something you possess, that you love. 

Easier said than done, eh? And, admittedly, it may be hard at first, and maybe to start, you just choose one thing: “I love my hair…laugh…loyalty or ability to make others laugh”. On a good day when you’re feeling worthy, happy, and notice things you love about yourself: make a list! Continue adding to the list when you pick up on other things you love about yourself or when somebody gives you positive feedback. Then on the days when you’re feeling down and having trouble remembering what you love about yourself, refer back to the list. 

On days when you’re feeling defeated, carve out some time to take care of yourself. What do you do for you that brings you joy? It could be taking a bath, doing your nails, watching your favorite movie, getting a breath of fresh air, or a million other things. What brings us happiness is dependent on the things we love and enjoy. 

Please don’t compare yourself to others because you are not them. You are entirely yourself, made up of beautiful parts that aren’t always easy to recognize when we’re not feeling our best. 

In so many ways you are unique, beautiful, and worthy of love even when you yourself don’t see it. During “Madly in Love with Me Day” on February 13 and even every other day after and before, remember that you are the person who has preserved through everything that life has thrown at you and you’re still here. All of the parts that make you who you are, someone lovable, deserve to be celebrated. Work on loving yourself by being kind and easy on yourself. After all, there is nobody in this world who is and will ever be as you as you! 

Now – the next time you realize something you love about yourself, write it down. Put it somewhere where you are likely to look frequently (like right beside your bed to remind yourself before falling asleep and first thing in the morning). Continue adding to the list, ask others to add to the list, and regardless of what’s going on in your life, remember there are many reasons to continue to love yourself!

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