January 2: Resolution

Most years I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. On January 1st I’m usually recovering from the excesses of the holidays and a whirlwind cross-country trip. It’s hard enough for me to eke out some semblance of a normal existence, let alone orchestrate a fabulous new-and-improved life.

But this year I’m making a resolution.

I’m resolving to love myself.

Now, first off, let’s get the obligatory reference to Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” out of the way. Yes, learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. I believe the children are our future, too.

Second, let me make it clear that “love myself” is not some kind of euphemism for, you know, something else. 

I really, truly mean that I want to love myself as a person.

I want to believe that I am a worthwhile human who makes a valuable contribution in the world. I want to be clear of the metaphorical bruises I get from constantly beating myself up. I want to stop thinking that if somebody doesn’t reply to my text, or turns down my invitation, that it’s because that person hates me. I want to become impenetrable to every message from the world that says I’m not good enough. I want to believe the compliments people give me.

I want to protect myself with an armor of love that comes from within.

Thing is, I have no idea how to go about loving myself. I could list all the good things about myself. I could attempt to derail all my self-criticisms. Both good ideas, but I don’t know if they’d have the long-last effects I’m looking for. And I don’t want to get too new-agey or self-helpy or The Secret here.

Is there some kind of workbook for regular people who need to learn to love themselves? Is there a curriculum for this?

Seriously, I’m asking.

One thought on “January 2: Resolution

  1. Michele

    when i was young and depressed and very worried about being gay, i found that reading and re-reading the tao te ching taught me how to love myself. specifically the translation by stephen mitchell. in a way, i think it is a little like a workbook for how to love yourself. it doesn’t tell you how to believe the things that are in it, but i felt just re-reading and re-reading these simple ideas that sounded so ridiculously complex and abstract did convince me, at some point without my realizing it, that the world is already perfect, and each of us already has everything we need, and that love isn’t what i thought it was, and that loving myself didn’t feel the way i expected it to, but that i could do it, and i could love everyone else, too. not in a perfect way, but i try to go back to read it every once in a while and remind myself that i can keep working on it. thanks for reminding me to read it again.

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