In the words of Justin Bieber…

This is important. More important I’d say than anything else I might write here. You might not like it, so look out for that. You might physically baulk but sweetheart: the lion’s share of stuff you can do to feel better all boils down to… loving yourself.

All right I know, that sounds lame. But it really isn’t.

Justin knows it. It’s time you did too.

Unfortunately it isn’t something that us humans have been hardwired to do. On the contrary, we’ve been conditioned to share, to put others needs before our own, to self-check in case we are in fact a knob head…

It’s where we’ve been going totally wrong. An area of huge potential for change and where more calm can quietly trickle into your life.

Something which, even though it sounds selfish, actually amplifies what you are able to do for others if that needs to be your M.O.

I know it’s true. I know when I’m in a pickle, feeling angsty, got a cob on… it might take me a while (because I’m not programmed this way) but eventually I’ll remember that giving myself a little self-loving pep talk is the only thing that makes me feel better. You are good.

I’ve only learnt this in the last few years. On the wellness pilgrimage I put myself on, I came across it time and time again. Authors like: Hay, Carr, Rankin, Espinosa, Campbell even Ruby Wax all know it is the key to our happy calm.

I remember a beach holiday a couple of years ago, after having received this message umpteen times, I decided: right, I’m going to get this self-love thing sorted.

So I lay on the beach and tried it. Tried to practice some radical self acceptance. I thought to myself I love you just the way you are chicken. It was a quiet beach. I was undisturbed. I’d taken a solo trip to visit my sister. Let me just say, there was nothing ground-breaking about it. I left the beach feeling sorta meh

We returned to visit my sister later in the year. Went to the same beach. Did the same things. But this time it wasn’t undisturbed. It was disturbed. I sandcastled. I jumped in the waves. I walked a lot. Drank a lot. Laughed a lot. Shouted a lot.

One morning I woke up and thought to myself What am I doing?

I had the mother of all mothering hangovers. Which is different to normal ones. It’s one where I have to function still.

More than that, in my normal life, I usually have a magnifying glass zoned in on what I put in my body, so much do I value it since the old ‘might die’ episode. I remember thinking Why? Why do you wait until your lovely holiday to poison your body. You’re a mess. What are you doing? Genuinely that’s what I thought.

And that’s when the ground broke. I caught it. This is the time. You’re O.K. babe, I love you anyway, even though you’re hung over and not perfect. You are still a perfectly valid, worthwhile, likeable human. I like you.

And it worked. Instantly I felt better. It felt like I’d found what I’d been looking for… forever.

I realised, it’s no use trying to practice loving yourself when you’re being awesome in your shades and ‘kini on the beach. You need to have your own back when you’re beating yourself up. You need to step in. Because there’s no one else in your head that will stop you… when you’re hating yourself.

It’s super counter-productive BTW all the hating. It doesn’t help. (In a world ever-more efficient, we are behaving like dinosaurs with this stuff.)

And there are ideas here, if you have a curiosity for mining more of your own calm potential. Perhaps you already have started digging and you know… You will try the ideas and you will fail (soz). You have to know at that point, be nice! Step in when there’s a fight brewing upstairs.

Because you don’t learn Spanish overnight poppet. And this is a skill like every other. You don’t just have to ‘be’. You don’t just have to wait around for the odd cool and groovy feeling to land on your body.

**Speech** Don’t be afraid of your inner bully. Tell them to pipe the heck down. Because love is yours to own and if you can be with your faults, shake their hand, give them a hug, then wow, you’re half way there!

Yes my darling every human on the planet is faulty, and there are some pretty awesome ones. You included. But you have to notice, catch the moments where you could step in and practice. Notice, catch, practice, notice, catch, practice, noti…

Love me x

See also: Self Love Flood

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