When I read Say It Out Loud by author Roberta Dolan, I knew we would be friends. Her travels have taken her through the thickets of life, and yet she has emerged victorious.
Roberta joins us today as a guest blogger. Her courage has rewritten her past and inspired many others to do the same. While we cannot escape adversity, we can transform our circumstance. Roberta writes about an important way to do just that.
This is a special Valentine gift. Thank you Roberta!
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I’m inspired to write about love today because it is February, my favorite month. You may think it’s my favorite because Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I’m a sucker for all the Hallmark hype. Or perhaps because my wedding anniversary is February 13 and after 33 years I’m still head over heels in love with my husband Tim.
Valentine’s Day and my anniversary are what make my heart flutter this month but that’s not the kind of love I want to talk about today. It’s a kind of love that isn’t advertised in card stores or jewelry store commercials. It’s a love we talk about the least and I think a kind of love that is most important:
Do you love yourself? Really? If you asked me that question ten years ago I would have answered, sure I love myself. But in reality I didn’t even know what that could mean. Today, after years of therapy for a childhood of sexual abuse, after prayer and reflection, I can honestly answer—I’m getting there. Why is self-love so important?
When you love yourself you are truly able to love others. Self-love requires acceptance; acceptance of your strong points and weak, good qualities and bad, acceptance of the whole person. Loving others requires acceptance also. In order to truly love someone you must accept their good qualities and what you perceive as flaws. Remember that husband I’m so in love with? He enjoys being in the thick of the politics of an organization—something foreign to my make-up. When I recently asked him not to get involved he reminded me that getting involved is a part of who he is. It’s only a “flaw” in my mind because it’s something I’m not comfortable doing. Yes, loving him means accepting the qualities in him that are foreign to me.
How often have you really disliked a person but when you look closely you realize what you dislike in them is a characteristic you see in yourself? Without self-love and acceptance our scope of who we love and accept is limited.
Living Your Best Life
By loving yourself you are free to be the best person you can possible be. There is no doubt in my mind that when we love and accept ourselves we are able to soar! The roadblocks of self-doubt are pushed aside and we can achieve all that we are meant to do on this earth. When I’m feeling good about me, accepting my strengths and weaknesses, I’m able to use those strengths to help others on their healing journeys, which I believe is my purpose in life.
Do you really love yourself? Give it some thought. Be kind and embrace the person you are. Accept all the parts of you. If you do, I can assure you, you’ll feel the freedom to soar, to love others and become the best that you can be.