There is a lot of talk about love in our world. Loving others is a foundational value many of us are taught as we grow up, and that is a good thing. We write books about love and we sing a great many songs about love – romantic love in particular. We want love and we want to be loved.

I suggest that the most successful love relationships with family, friends, and a special someone, include a special ingredient that is available to all of us: self-love. We can also call this self-respect or being kind to our self.

Like any other endeavor in life, we have the capacity to grow our appreciation for our self as an entirely unique being, equally valuable as all other beings, to gain confidence, to give our self a break, to be nice to our self, to like our self, even to be our own best friend.

When we allow our self to stand in our own radiance, we feel good, maybe even great, and our interactions with others rise in frequency to become deeper and more profound, and the channel of mutual appreciation widens.

Many tools are available to help us cultivate self-love: gratitude, forgiveness, and the power of choice being just a few of them. Making time for your self – investing in your self – through art or being with Nature – are others.

Give yourself permission to have some fun. As my nephew, Atigun, pricelessly proclaimed around age five, “It’s fun to have fun!”

© 2020 James K. Papp