Sunday, July 8, 2012

On Loving Yourself

"Find your capacity to love yourself and then one another" - David Tierney Lerner

I met my good friend David on the side of the road last year while I was walking around Manhattan. We struck up a 45 minute conversation and parted ways. Now, over a year later, he and I spend a significant amount of time with one another--laughing, talking, smiling, living and loving life. The quote featured above was taken directly from the end of one of his brilliant Facebook status updates this past week. And I couldn't thank him any more for it. 

While David was responding to Anderson Cooper's coming out statement, in a beautiful way, in regards to himself--I believe that "finding the capacity to love yourself--and then one another" is such a good lesson that we could all try and participate in learning--no matter what that means for each person and their own insecurities. I know it's a lesson I've been working on for a long time:

My morning is pretty standard.

Wake up. Stretch. Move. Get up. Walk to the bathroom. Look in the mirror.

Look in the mirror.

Look in the mirror.

Look in the mirror.

(Had to make sure that all reflected the way I wanted it to).

If you live alone--or are single--this is likely the first person you see each day.

You are likely the first person you see each day.

Why start off the day looking at someone you don't like?--Someone you don't love?

Too often, we stare in the mirror and pick out all of our "problems." I went through a period of my life where I refused to look in any mirrors-afraid of all the flaws I might find. It wasn't just mirrors though--it was store front windows (because who wants to look into their large reflection with a slim mannequin standing by and critiquing in that mannequin silence). It was car fenders. Heck--it was even shadows. Anything that offered me a return vision of my self was off limits. I went a year, essentially, without seeing ME.

I knew myself too well to know that looking in the mirror would have yielded a self-conscious sadness and eventual self-destruction. I didn't love myself. I didn't love who I was or who I felt people were seeing. It wasn't just my hair--my body--and my face that I didn't love. Somehow the mirrors seemed to reflect a lot of internal conflict that I wasn't ready to understand-- a lot of internal feelings and self-discoveries that I am only NOW starting to explore, discover, and love.

We are only offered a short period of time on this earth and if we spend a lot of that time disliking ourselves, it will be very difficult to find someone who can learn to love us. 

And sometimes we'll find--as my acting teachers would say--that what we really think isn't working about ourselves--is the number one thing that is.


Go look in the mirror.

Look in the mirror.

Look in the mirror.

Look in the mirror.

Love the person you see.

Love you.

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