I’ve always been in love with love. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by the idea of two people meeting and falling in love.

I have no idea if the fascination started with watching my mom read romance novel after romance novel, or if the fairy tales with princesses and princes got to me, but I was a girl obsessed. I knew I wanted that kind of love in my life more than anything in the world. I was sure that it would be so easy to find.

I’ve talked before about my journey to finding love and no it was not nearly as easy as I expected. You know what’s more complicated? It took me forty years to figure this out- loving yourself.

Loving yourself exactly as you are is the most difficult thing in the world. Loving yourself at this weight, instead of your ‘possible future’ weight, loving yourself at this moment when you aren’t successful, that’s the hardest thing. It’s easy to love the ‘you of the future’. You can always say to yourself- one day I’ll lose weight and be beautiful, or one day my published book will be on the bestseller’s list and then I can love myself. I can love myself when I’m thin, rich, and successful. Loving a poor, overweight version of yourself is not easy.

So, you say lose the weight and devote your life to being a best-selling author. Give up other things, exercise like a mad woman and write 10,000 words every day. Give up your day job and shoot for your dreamsI am shooting for my dreams, in my own way. It’s taken a long time for me to realize that I love me exactly as the imperfect me I am. I’m klutzy, I often put my foot in my mouth, I have no real fashion sense at all, and I adore all foods that are bad for me. Perfection is a long, long way away.

On the other hand, I have a solid sense of humor, my boobs aren’t half bad, and I’m doing decently well at writing these stories even if I’m not making a ton of money. I’m chugging along and my not perfect self is still here with more words to say. More words people may not want to necessarily hear, but heh, that’s okay.

Living with yourself is a lot harder than living with anyone else. For instance, I’m a slob and it’s extremely difficult to fuss at myself about it than to argue with other people. It’s easy to make excuses for myself and say ‘I’ll get to it later’. Changing who you are intrinsically is not as easy as movies and people make it out to be.

You know the story of Cinderella? She’s poor and abused, and then suddenly she meets her prince and she’s rich and adored. It sounds like the perfect plot. But what about the baggage Cinderella still carries around? Think Cinderella magically gets self-confidence because Prince Charming falls in love with her? Nope, she probably has a difficult time adjusting to being the queen of the castle and doubts herself all the time. She probably thinks ‘how did I get here and what if I don’t deserve to be here?’ In real life, emotions stay with us. That feeling of not being good enough never goes away until you shove it to the back of the closet and make it stay there.

That doesn’t happen automatically when the prince falls in love with you. That happens over time and finally seeing yourself as the imperfect person you are. That happens when you fall in love with yourself, baggage and all.

So, love yourself no matter where you are in life. Maybe tomorrow you will meet the prince. Maybe you won’t. Guess what? That happy ending will be a lot easier to achieve if you can look yourself in the mirror and like what you see.

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.” Roy T. Bennett

Love always,