Taste the Love

Step one: Love yourself.
Step two: Refer to step one.

I used to hate it when I heard people expound on that old adage: you can’t love someone until you learn to love yourself. What exactly does that mean? How do you consciously love yourself? Sure, I can sit in front of the mirror and blow kisses. I can put my arms around myself and squeeze.

I’ve tried it. I don’t think it works.

So how about this little twist on that old adage? No one is going to love you more than you love yourself. I started thinking about the men I’ve dated, many of whom left much to be desired on the whole “love-giving” front. So maybe I do need figure out how to love myself more.

The research has begun. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

•    Watch Your Thoughts Ever notice your crazy thoughts? Try keeping a list throughout the day of every negative thought you have about yourself. My list was a mile long when I started this daily exercise; it usually included thoughts about my bum being three sizes too big. Actually, that one may be true. But really, monitor your thoughts. They run a direct line from your brain to behavior.

•    Make a List Jot down the qualities you like about yourself each morning. Nothing is too tiny! Make note of your smile, your laugh, that voracious need you have to read my blog… Email this list each day to a friend and have him or her send your theirs.

•   Make “Me” Time Treat yourself to at least one hour a day of pampering. I usually spend my hour blasting chick rock while journaling and practicing a little bedroom karaoke. Hey—no one said you can’t multi-pamper.

I’ll tell you something: These techniques are working. I’ve definitely noticed an increased ability on my part to attract some good-loving people into my life.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I say, “Give yourself the love you want to see.” You’ve got nothing to lose, except those annoying kissy faces in front of the mirror.

Find more stories of urban zen and subscribe to the newsletter at DowntownDharma.com!

About the Author

Ilana Donna Arazie

Ilana Donna Arazie is a video columnist and blogger looking for meaning and zen in New York City.

You are reading

Finding Zen in the City

Single and Medicating

Lessons on finding love, especially after 35.

America's Top Ten Youth Volunteers

When you give, you receive more.

Why Our Thoughts Keep Us Lost

Meet my new guru in the suburbs.