When you look in the mirror what do you see? More specifically, who do you see? Who is the person looking back in the mirror? Are you a strong person? Are you a fragile person? Are you attractive? Are you unattractive? How about on the inside? Are you an attractive person on the inside? Who are you at the core of your being?

Most people struggle with this at least once in their lives. The journey to loving who you are is one that starts with the skeletons in your closet. It starts with facing yourself. Someone once told me “If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love you, and how can you love anyone else?” This struck a chord with me. I realized that is such a true statement.

As human beings, we are conditional creatures. Our emotions are based off of conditions. Our feelings for others are based on conditions. Our “love” for each other, though we try to say it is unconditional, there are things your significant other could do that would make you not love them. We have conditions. Those conditions also transfer into loving ourselves. There are things we have done or physical blemishes on us that keep us from loving ourselves.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

For the most part, we all kind of like ourselves but we don’t love ourselves. We all have flaws and imperfections that weigh tons on us. Maybe it’s that gap in your teeth, or that scar? What do you blame yourself for? What did you do or what happened to you to make you think that you’re not worth your own love?

We all have at least one thing; one thing that weighs us down. It’s time to let it go, and it begins with forgiveness. First for yourself.

1. Forgive all past and future mistakes

Forgive yourself. For everything you ever did, and anything you will ever do. Holding on to bitterness towards yourself is toxic. You cannot ever be perfect. The only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes. Learn how to act next time the same situation happens to you. Learn how to get back up again and try one more time, and by one more, I mean endlessly try.

You only truly give up when you quit. Have you quit yet? No, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Let go of the negativity and the hatred you have for yourself. You are worth more than that.

The past is the past. It is 5 minutes ago, yesterday, 10 years ago, even seconds ago is the past. The past is gone, so don’t let it haunt you. You have total control over what you allow to be a condition in your life. The past can be your launching pad or it can be your personal prison. The past can control you, if you let it. You have to decide to forgive yourself for it. Everything that has ever happened to you and anything that you have ever done, forgive it.

The future can be a scary thing. What is to come? You will never know. What you can be sure of though, is that somewhere along the way you will make a mistake, you will take a wrong turn, misunderstand a conversation, create a misprint on your banner; something will go wrong. You have to commit to yourself that you forgive your future. Every single one of those “what if’s” that could happen, forgive them now.

2. Give up control and give up expectations

A lot of people are control freaks. Even those who aren’t, are about one thing or another in our lives. According to Buddha, the basic cause of suffering is “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)”. I am not here to tell you to be a Buddhist, though this major principle of their philosophy is very accurate. Attachment equals suffering.

We live our lives attached to many different things. We are attached to the idea that the sun will come up tomorrow. We set up endless expectations in our lives. When our life doesn’t turn out as we thought it would, that is when we get upset. There is only one reason significant others ever fight: expectations. You set an expectation of how the other person was supposed to act or speak or think and when things didn’t play out to your expectations, it causes a fight because they also had expectations.

We try really hard to control everything in our lives, even if we don’t realize that’s what we are doing. Letting go of control is a tricky thing. It’s deciding to roll with the punches instead of getting upset if things don’t go as planned.

“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” – Michael Jordan

3. Don’t put hope in situations, but in the big picture

Having hope is important in life. If one isn’t hopeful, they will never succeed. You get what you focus on. So it is important to put hope in the big picture and not in individual situations. As we already established, things won’t always work out as planned, but the big picture very well could still happen.

Focus on the big end goal; put hope in that. What are your 1 year goals? What are your 5 year goals? What are your 10 year goals? Focus and put hope in these instead of the small deal you are trying to close. Know that it will all work out for the better, and if this deal doesn’t fall through then it wasn’t meant to be but still fight for that big picture.

Loving yourself is forgiveness, for yourself first. Loving yourself is knowing that no matter what happens today, tomorrow will be there to start again. Loving yourself is having hope in the big picture to carry you through the struggles and the hard times.

How do you practice loving yourself in order to be healthy, wealthy, and happy? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Source: Success