Someone recently asked me, “When do you know you love yourself?”

I replied, “You just know.”

The moment I realized I loved myself was at a party with some of my girlfriends. The ladies at the party were part of my addiction-support group. We’d seen each other through all kinds of addictions like drugs, alcohol, relationships, food, you name it. For years, we’d been on a serious journey seeking self-love. Towards the end of the party, the hostess brought out a platter covered with fluffy pink cupcakes. I grabbed one, took a bite, and offered the rest to my friend. My girlfriends stopped and stared in shock.

How the hell can you possibly take only one bite and not want more!,” one said.

Without hesitation, I replied, “I love myself too much to eat the whole thing.” There, I realized my self-love.

I didn’t love myself overnight. I’d spent years avoiding my true feelings and the issues I’d acquired throughout my life. Through a serious dedication to change, I resurrected my relationship with myself.

How did I get here? The answer is simple. I showed up! One day at a time I showed up for my inner journey. Each day, I added new tools, meditated longer, prayed more and changed my mind. And, I continue showing up everyday. I continuously add new layers of love to the miraculous relationship with the woman that is me.

If you’re ready to put down that cupcake and love yourself, you can start showing up today. The first step is to be willing. With the slightest willingness, you will receive guidance to move forward. Begin now, by saying out loud, I am willing to love myself, today. For the next thirty days, recite this affirmation. Post it on your wall, your mirror and by your desk. Put it everywhere. Make the daily commitment to be willing to love yourself. By simply setting this intention, you are one step closer to self-love.

Second, get clear about how you’ve been un-loving towards yourself. Are you possibly overeating, drinking too much, staying in a bad relationship, reciting negative mantras in your head? Make a list of all the ways you’ve mistreated yourself. Carefully, look at the list and ask, Would I treat someone I love that way? Each time you act in a self-loathing way ask yourself that question. By calling yourself out, you witness your negative behavior and stop identifying with it. In the instant that you choose love over negativity, you create a shift and get one step closer to self-love.

Lastly, simply just hang with yourself. Once a day, spend ten minutes quiet and alone. Turn off your phone, stop tweeting and start chilling. Listen to your thoughts and check in with your body. Simply be aware of what your inner guide (~ing) is saying to you. When I practice this exercise, I hear awesome stuff. For instance, today I heard my ~ing say, “Go lie down for an hour and rest. You need it!” Had I not stopped to take the time to check in with my ~ing, I’d have never heard what I truly needed. Slow down and listen to the voice of your inner guide. This will get you one more step closer to self-love.

These three steps are a great start to any self-love journey. Be willing to affirm your desire and slow down enough to listen to the loving voice of your inner guide. One day at a time, you’ll get closer to the most rockin’ relationship with yourself.

About the Author

This article was written by best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein. Featured in the New York Times Sunday Styles section as “a new role model”, speaker, and author Gabrielle Bernstein is making her mark. Gabrielle is passionate about teaching others how to access miracles with ease and she is leading our generation in that conversation with fun and simple tips that we can practice daily. Have a question for her? Leave one in the comments below! To learn more about Gabrielle Bernstein or to connect with her further, visit her Bella Life profile here.

32 Responses to I Love Me…First!
  1. Wonderful! I definitely needed to read this today :) Thanks!

  2. I love her advice!!!

  3. Self love is the number one most important thing to bring in all that you desire. I’m working on this now, so thx gab! and bella life.

  4. Thank you for this! I am getting better and better with this!

  5. Beautifully put! I am coming to see that self-love is the basis for balance and success in every aspect of life. They should teach this stuff in grade school!!! :)

  6. I love all my friends,so much… When I am reminded of the mirror, the things I love in them are the things that live in me, self love is really put into perspective

  7. I really love this, thanks so much for writing and sharing!

  8. Great Article and Great discussion. Loving yourself is the foundation to attaining the most out of any relationship. That saying ” How can you love something if you don’t love yourself first” , is true!

  9. Such timely advice! This message is so true and so constant, yet I always struggle to keep it at the top of my priority list. This article is such a beautiful reminder!

    Gabby, thank you for writing this!

    Nitika, thank you for such an inspiring site!

  10. Great article! Great suggestions!

  11. This article is amazing! I have already printed it out and am hanging it up to remind me that small, repetitive steps can make major changes! Thanks Gabby! =)

  12. I love this article. I have been focusing on just me for a little bit now and I love it. Something I have started again is reading, taking 30 minutes out of my hectic senior year schedule to read and relax. I have never felt so refreshed after focusing on soley me.

  13. Self-Love could be the most important thing to living a full and happy life. I am so happy to see this issue being addressed in a community that attracts so many women in so many age groups. As women, especially, we tend to make choices, that aren’t always conscious, about putting others before ourselves. Culturally we are sent messages that women are the world’s caretakers and that being kind means being selfless and putting others first. While this is a wonderful message, we need to be reminded that we deserve that too! We should be caring and loving ourselves first so we can be that much more authentic in our love and care for others.
    Thank you for publishing this article!

  14. So wise. So obvious. I love your belief more than anything. I’m in this process myself at the moment butas I say “at the moment” I really think this is no quick fix, this needs to be a lifelong affirmation. I will keep this advice and read it often. I’ll even practise it with my own mantra.

  15. Thank you for sharing this and I will try the 10 minute check-in wit myself tomorrow and the next day and the next day. :)

  16. I love the fact that you said you take times out of your day to sit, reflect, and do nothing. To follow your ~ing to reconnect with your emotions and feelings. Often times we go through the motions without even taking time to breathe and ask ourselves, are we really enjoying this?



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