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Love Yourself in Order to Be Loved: The Art of Self Acceptance

07/30/2010 12:30 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Everywhere you look, there are articles touting the benefits of rewriting yourself. There's hoards of evidence pointing to the notion that people lie online to get a little closer (or a little further, as it were).

The trouble is, feeling good in your own skin with the gaggle of media messages telling us all in not-so-subtle ways that we're not quite good enough is not so easy. Even for those of us with a decent self-concept to begin with are vulnerable to unhealthy messages about what everyone else wants. None of us can fit into each and every one of these opinion and marketing based concepts about perfection, so it's better to begin by getting into your body and into the sense of awe about what an incredible force of life and energy it is.

One of the first things to do is to accept every part of your flesh incarnation. In order to do this, you must quiet the mind of judgment. Forget that little voice saying "my thighs are too large" or "my breasts are not full enough" or "my gut is too big" or "chest not broad enough." So many variations on the same message that you cannot and never will be enough physically can make you run in the direction of falsity online or in relationships. Tending this primary space in order to overcome and love yourself can go lengths to improve your ability to be involved in more fulfilling and truthful exchanges.

Instead of allowing habituated lines to replay themselves even once more, try to step back and take an objective look at your least favorite bits. Observe. Breathe. Touch. Say thank you for doing your job to get me around everyday in this adventure called life. If not for my imperfect feet or my pudgier-than-I'd-like lower belly, I'd have no child, no vocation, no experiences. If not for the lessons learned abusing myself in an effort to fit into an image that didn't belong to me, I would not be able to love my body enough to enjoy another's.

So, begin now to free yourself of any impulses that name-call or compare yourself, your body to that of any other. You are perfect. You are unique. You deserve love. You can be seen, felt and loved nonetheless by someone equally as perfect and flawed as you are. We are all perfectly flawed to the right degree of imperfection so as to allow for the lessons necessary to make the maximum contributions to humanity, in order to fill the role we were destined to in the universe.

Sure, this may sound New Agey, but why, then is the instance of online dating falsity approaching soaring? We are looking for love in all the wrong ways. We must accept ourselves and reveal that authentic person to another in order to be loved. Lying is only a quick road to feel worse down the road; and it seems to me we're getting better at it.

This is a grave and unfortunate consequence of being able to distance ourselves even more so than before via the online space, to create a faux self as our ideal image of the perfect "me" would prefer to be. It is in keeping with our instant gratification based bad habit of implementing a quick-fix rather than doing the hard work of self-examination and healing that can really make our lives and the world a better place. To admit one's flaws and fears, to love one's body exactly as it is, to nourish and exercise both body and soul, these are the fabric of a life well-lived and ready to share. These are the steps to becoming the person you wish you were.

So, start now. Start loving yourself, one flaw at a time. We'll accept you just as you are. None of us are perfect either.