​…And a second like it [is] this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is not another commandment greater than these” Mark 12:31

We go through great lengths to nurture our love towards others. But loving yourself? That can feel like a foreign concept to many of us. But how can we claim to love others or express love to another person if we dont love ourselves? Its clear that in order to love others we must begin by loving ourselves first.

Most of us understand what it means to love another person, that’s a familiar concept. So what does it mean to love ourselves? What is self love? Where I come from people mistake self love (kujipenda) with selfishness. Both are expressed by the same term. Its important to understand the distinction.

Selflove is a combination of acceptance, awareness, kindness and respect for ourselves. So how do I start loving myself? That’s a very good question. So help you answer that question and gain more perspective as you lay the foundation to the process of selflove. Here are a few suggestions.

Overcome negative beliefs about yourself. Some of us have trouble letting go of negative
thoughts that we have about themselves. These negative thoughts often come from people whose opinion we value and from whom we seek love, acceptance and approval. So we must learn to shut down this voices. Remember you are enough no matter what other people think and if a person cant see your value they have no business being in your life.

Stop labeling yourself and letting other people’s labels define you. You never have to live up to anyone’s label of you, good or bad or ugly.  We tend to do this all of the time, that is, the labeling of people and things around us. We do it out of love and we do it out of fear. This frustration you have with labeling is something everyone deals with no matter how you identify yourself.

Avoid negative people and situation in your life. Create an environment in your life that is conducive to the nourishment of your personal growth. Allow yourself to let go of the people, thoughts, and situations that poison your well-being. Cultivate a vibrant surrounding and commit yourself to making choices that will help you release the greatest expression of your unique beauty and purpose.

Accept, Respect and Take care of your body. This means approving of and loving your body, despite its “imperfections”, real or perceived. That means accepting your body, whether fat or thin, dark or light skin, tall or short. You are pefect as you are, you don’t need to be ashamed of your body or try to change it. We are all diverse in our DNA markup, and that’s what makes us special and unique. a friend of mine told me the other day that “We should love and take care of our bodies, thats when we live.”

After thoughts: Love is complex in nature. It varies in magnitude and form. No two expressions of love are alike; each is unique because every person is their own.  let us love ourselves, so that we may be the kind of person that others may love as well. Let us love ourselves because we are worthy in every way. Let us love each body part for how it helps us live our lives and every freckle and scar for making us, us. Let us simply love. Let us love each other, despite our differences, because existence on this earth makes us matter as human beings, it entitles us to be loved.

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