This post was originally published here.

Webster defines “Love” as: 1) Strong affection. 2) Warm attachment. 3) Attraction based on sexual desire. 4) A beloved person. 5) Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for others. 6) A score of zero in tennis.

What is your definition of love?
What in your life has tainted that love for yourself and/or others?

Within the last six months, I have had time and opportunity to ask myself these questions on a deeper level. While I was on a much needed, incredible eight-day ocean cruise, I became significantly aware of how much I had not loved myself. So much hurt showed up in the wee hours of the cruise’s final morning as my thoughts wrapped around that epiphany. How could I not love me? Let me tell you how: hurt, pain, lack of self-image, and lack of self-worth. My programs are running to create beliefs of:  I’m not good enough, not qualified, not important, and not smart enough. You get the picture. Here’s the kicker about those beliefs – they are ALL LIES.

Love Yourself written in the sand

Following those eight days at sea I returned ReSET and ReALIGNED, by Remembering that I am good enough, I am qualified, I am important, and I am smart enough.

In turn, I was ready to love myself from a position of what is. Here is what has transpired once I moved into the acceptance of what is: I began clean-eating and working a healthy living program in the last 30 days.  Although this regimen began as a weight loss event, I came away with so, so much more.

By loving what is, I discovered the following:

  • I had to move into acceptance, mentally and emotionally, before I could attempt the physical aspect.
  • My spiritual walk expanded as I recognized that I was respecting and honoring God with how I was taking care of the body He created.
  • The experience became not about image, but about God loving me and me loving myself.

The results after 30 days of loving me:

  • I feel great – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
  • I forgave myself for not taking care of me.
  • I dropped 10 lbs.
  • I “finished” the 30 days.
  • I was ready to love even more!

The beliefs from hurt, guilt and poor decisions held me back for way too long. Today, God has taken the very things that held me back to propel me into healing.

Where are you at this very moment in loving yourself and/or others? Take a minute and visualize how it would feel to love what is. What might be brought into your life by making/taking that step?