Love is All You Need

Boiled down to all of our essence, all we really want is to be our spouses, by our family, by the people we work with, by everyone. The key to being loved by all of these people is actually quite simple: love yourself first!

So how do you love yourself, why don't we love ourselves and why is this all you need? Let me start with the last question first: why is all we need to love ourself first? We need to accept ourself, to love ourself, in order to allow ourselves to be loved by others. If we can't love ourself, can't be worthy of our own love, how can we expect others to love us? Oh sure, our mom will still love us, and maybe our dad will love us, and yes, grandma and grandpa will still love us. But how deeply will they love us if we can't love ourselves, if we can't be open and honest with ourself first? Probably not as deeply as we need them to. We need to choose to love ourself, just like we choose a positive attitude. You've done bad things, or had bad things done to you, that make you feel badly. It's okay and in fact, it's perfectly normal.

Why don't we love ourselves? It goes back to the last word in last paragraph: normal. We don't think the things we do are "normal." We have unreasonable expectations of ourselves, and this leads us to not love ourselves as we should.

How do we learn to love ourselves? It begins with self-acceptance. Choose to accept yourself for who you are, warts and all, and then you can open yourself up to sharing your whole self with others.

The next thing to learning to love ourselves is changing our expectations of ourselves. We are only broken people in a broken world, and we are not perfect. We are not to be compared to anyone else, we just are what we are. We're meant to experience life as it comes, even when it's not "great" and to learn from our mistakes. I am often SO guilty of not doing this, but I'm working on it. It's not easy, but with practice, it will get better.

The last thing is honesty. Be honest with where you are right now. Take a minute and write it down. Not the location, but where you are in regards to the various important things in your life. Good and bad things all need to be written down. Once you realize where you are, you'll realize you have a LOT more to be thankful for than you thought.

So all you need is yourself first, and then open your heart and let others love you too.

Phil Gerbyshak leads a team of IT help desk professionals in Milwaukee, WI, and finds that sharing his knowledge is a crucial component in his success as a leader and as a person. Phil's personal philosophy is paraphrased from Tim Sanders' fantastic book Love is the Killer App: "Share your knowledge, your network, and your love. The rest will follow." Read more of Phil's musings at">


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