Learning how to love yourself is one of the most important things you can do. However, underestimating how hard it can be is one of the easiest mistakes you can commit. Loving, respecting, valuing, accepting and knowing yourself are the most vital steps towards creating the kind of life you want. All those abilities are at the very core of joyful well being, self value and self empowerment. How would you possibly be able to truly love other people when you don’t love yourself? How can you create and enjoy happiness if you are not at peace with yourself?

The consequences of not knowing how to love yourself are many, and not a single one is positive. You are constantly filled with doubt and indecision. Being negative about yourself might cause you to feel depressed and attract people and circumstance that mirror your negative feelings and beliefs about yourself and others. ‘We draw to us the manifestations of what we FEEL. So, in order for you to draw in loving people and circumstances, you need to know how to love yourself first.’

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Much has been written about the necessity of appreciating ourselves, and there are easily hundreds of self-help, self-appreciation books in the shelves of your local library. There may be twice as many by year’s end. It’s hard to dissect something as intimate as self-esteem, and science has been attempting to get the principles of valuing yourself across to many a patient for centuries.

It’s failed, because of the intimate nature of the problem. What you appreciate about yourself is something that others may never truly relate to.

Where explanations struggle, we can always turn to mankind’s universal language: art. I recently read something that the great Charlie Chaplin has written about self love and it gave me a new perception about myself and life in general.

‘As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

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As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

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We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!”

We hope that the immortal words of Mr. Chaplin stick with you and inspire where a hundred books, a thousand articles and a lifetime of therapy never could. Did they work for you? Let us know!

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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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