“God comes first – if I don’t love him, I can’t love anybody,
and if I can’t love me I can’t love nobody.”
– Mary J. Blige
When you learn to love yourself, you teach others how to love you back.
That is the same sentiment that the legendary actress Pam Grier expressed when I interviewed her. When describing her past relationships with one of the greatest comedians of all time, Richard Pryor, and Hall of Fame NBA player, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, she finally came to this conclusion; “You have to love yourself more, and then others will love you for it. I loved Richard dearly, but I had to let him go. I knew that I had to take care of me and my family. Had I stayed (with Richard or Kareem), I think I would have lost my identity. I would not be the Pam Grier that people know today.”
Too often women don’t choose themselves. Because of our desire to be loved, we feel obligated to take care of everyone else’s needs first in hopes that it will make them love us back. And when we do take the time that we want or need for ourselves, we still feel guilty about it. Further, when it comes to relationships, even if we articulate what it is that we want, too often we’ll settle for good enough. But guess what? Good enough is not good enough. And if you don’t feel that you’re good enough to fully have your heart’s desires fulfilled, no one else will either.
Are you attracted to someone who treats you like the queen that you are? If not, then acceptance for that lies within you. The more you treat yourself well, the more you will be drawn to those who do the same.
So regardless of how you grew up, or who wasn’t there for you, the question today is how do you get to this place called “self-love”? You begin by being honest. Force yourself to identify the things that you love about yourself. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. Simply write yourself a love letter listing all the wonderful ways in which you are loveable.
As an example, here are some things that I love about myself: I love my fashion sense. I have style and I know my body-type, so I create outfits that best compliment my body. I also like my personality. I’m fun, silly, smart, sarcastic, quick on my feet, loving, passionate and more.
Secondly, by identifying the positive characteristics that you love about yourself, you will exude that “oomph” and others will be drawn to it. Likewise, if you feel bad about yourself, others will too. And they will feel justified in treating you badly – taking advantage of you, disrespecting you and more.
While it may be easier to look outside of yourself for affirmation, that approach will ultimately backfire on you because it does not provide a solid foundation. Your footing will be based on the ups, downs, whims, and the emotional availability of someone else when in fact, you have the power to set the tone for how people interact with you. It all begins with how you interact with yourself. As church folk say, sometimes you’ve got to encourage yourself.
Deya “Direct” Smith, is a producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and host of Girlfriend FM & Beyond the Studio celebrity interviews. She is also the author of Touch Yourself, 30 Ways to Live, Love and Let Go (www.touchmebooks.com)! Deya is a life-style and inspirational speaker.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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