Everyone’s heard this self-help platitude: We need to love ourselves before we can love anyone else. This may sound wise, but it misses a great truth; if we want to experience true intimacy, we need to be taught to love aspects of ourselves–again and again–by the people around us.
Charlie Chaplin is best known today as a comedian who starred in silent films from 1920 through 1950, recognizable even today by his iconic moustache and hat. While many people can still identify him as a silent film star, few people know just how insightful and intelligent he was. Every time I think about how to fall in love with yourself, this amazing piece comes to my mind.
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first, I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!
What an amazing piece on self-love! You can certainly see that Charlie was a wise man who learned a lot during his time here. This poem powerfully reminds us that there is a lesson to be found in all of the life’s experiences.
How to Love Yourself First: 15 Simple Steps
Life is short and it passes quickly. How we live and spend each day is important. Self-love opens you up to chasing big dreams and making them your reality.
- Start a journal. No one’s saying you have to pen the next great novel, but one of the best ways to get to know yourself is writing down your thoughts. Even if you only write a few sentences a day, you never know what you might learn about yourself.
- Give yourself a compliment. Or two. Or three. Get in the habit of acknowledging the good things about yourself as you notice them.
- Go to the movies—alone. How much talking do you do during a movie anyway? Treat yourself to a date. Whether it’s a deep and soulful experience or just a night off from your hectic life, we all deserve a break sometimes, and there is no greater company than you.
- Take yourself out to dinner. There’s no law written that you can’t eat out at a restaurant without a date or a friend glued to your side. Bring along your favorite book and order your favorite meal.
- Learn how to embrace yourself. open your heart to listen to your inner whisper, to hear your soul love song and making love with your body and heal your wounds through love.
- Volunteer. Giving back not only helps others—it can also help you. Find a cause that interests you and get involved.
- Get lost in a bookstore. We’ve all seen those cute used bookstores that seem to be exploding with the material. Wander in one day and browse. Get lost in the store, or in the books themselves.
- Binge watch your favorite movies. Romantic or comedic, take a day to sit down with yourself and binge watch your top three or five movies.
- Learn how to let go of fear. This is a life-transforming secret.
- Make a vision board. What do you want out of life? What are your goals? Grab the stack of old magazines from your living room and a pair of scissors and cut out anything that you feel represents you or your aspirations. Glue them on a poster board and put it on your wall. Use it to remind yourself that your goals are within your reach and that you are worthy of your aspirations.
- Learn more about something you have an interest in. Remember that psychology class you took for one of your core credits during your freshman year of college? It’s not too late to learn more if it interests you. Rent a book from the library or find some material online.
- Go for a hike. Not the hiking type? No problem. A walk around your neighborhood will do the trick. Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, take a look around at the world around you and think about how you fit into it.
- Take a long bath. Light a few candles, turn on some relaxing music, and let go of your stress and conflicts as you soak.
- Splurge a little. You know that perfect pair of jeans you’ve been dreaming about? Treat yourself. Irresponsible spending won’t help you love yourself, but it’s OK to occasionally remind yourself that you deserve to give gifts to you.
- Travel. It doesn’t have to be far, but visit somewhere you have never visited before. Throw compromise out the window and travel alone so you can see exactly what you want to see.