You tell others to love themselves.
You tell them that they are worthy, beautiful, and deserving of all the goodness and love and beautiful things that this world has to offer.
You tell them that they should never settle for anything that makes them feel less than.
You tell them to stand in front of the mirror and recite affirmations that remind them of the beauty that lies on the outside and in.
You say these things often and with enthusiasm. You mean these things with all of your heart and soul, from the very depths of your core—there is nothing gentle about your love for your family and friends and the ones you hold close. Your love is fierce and strong and beautiful and true. And you don’t want them to be gentle about their love for themselves, either.
You say all this.
You do all this.
But then when you go home, you don’t do the same thing.
You have trouble standing in front of the mirror and seeing your best self. You have difficulty standing in the place of praise when someone compliments you. You shrug off your accomplishments and successes as if they’re not a big deal, and you make excuses for the people who treat you poorly and break your heart.
I don’t know why you do this, but you do.
You do this, even though you are a mirror of goodness for the ones in your love.
You do this, even though you have the best advice for others. You are the one they come to when they’re in the valley of their lives. When they struggle with sadness or depression or despair, they come to you. When they face a mountain of a decision and are unsure how to get to the other side—in their eyes, you’re the one who holds the map.
You are the one who reminds people of their worth.
You are the one who reminds them of what it means to love and take care of oneself truly, and now it’s time to take your own advice.
Now it’s time to practice what you preach.
It’s time to remember your worth when the world tries to shake you from that belief. It’s time to stand firm in the place of praise when you’ve worked hard for whatever it is that people admire. It’s time to stop settling for things that make you feel less than and to walk away from the ones who delight in diminishing your value and keeping you small.
It’s time to stand in front of the mirror and see the beauty that everyone else sees—to say your affirmations with the strength, conviction, and zest that you give to others.
It’s time to realize that you are worthy of love, goodness, happiness, and all of the good things this world has to offer.
For years you’ve been the one who preaches self-love to the ones you love, the ones you hold close and cheer for and stand beside when the world feels too much.
Now it’s time to do that for yourself.