For a long time I didn’t love myself.
I tried to cover up my lack of self-love by winning awards, being the captain, and by being a good little over-achiever.
I was an expert in the fine art of perception management.
I was a chameleon. I would change myself to fit into my environment in order to avoid the danger of being rejected or facing disapproval.
The habit caught up to me when I was 25 and woke up to the awareness that I didn’t love myself.
I set out on the search for self-love and realized I couldn’t love myself because I had no idea who I was.
My life had been spent trying to be who I thought everyone wanted me to be – the generous friend, the dedicated student, the encouraging team captain, the pretty girlfriend – yet, I had completely lost all sense of who I truly was.
How can you love yourself if you don’t know who you are?
In becoming a chameleon, I was trying to make myself as loveable as possible, but running from myself in the process. I was so hungry to gain approval from outside of myself that I didn’t realize the only love that would satiate my hunger was the love that comes from within.
When I began the quest to love myself, I started off by saying,
I’ll love myself when I lose 50 lbs.
I’ll love myself when I get promoted.
I’ll love myself once I’ve found someone who will love me unconditionally.
I saw self-love as something that could only result from an external achievement or an opinion from others.
Self-love was elusive because it was based on the behaviors of others, or it was waiting somewhere in the distant future. My version of self-love was unpredictable and unreliable because it was conditional: I would only be loving to myself if I achieved my goals.
I know now that real self-love is unconditional and self-determined.
I don’t want you to live without real self-love for another moment.
It’s the key to everything good.