“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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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