It’s hard to figure out just how she does it, but Joan tends to have this knack of saying just what I need to hear, right when I need to hear it. It’s kizmet, or something like that.

Joan talks about loving yourself this week, something we could all be a bit better at…read on and feel the love.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. ~ Buddah

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Joan: One recent evening, I was invited to be the keynote presenter for a divorce recovery group. As I was getting ready to go on, the moderator opened the event by playing the Bruno Mars hit, Just the Way You Are. As the song played in the background, she commented to the group that anyone would want to have that song sung to him/her by a loving admirer.

As I looked around the room, some attendees nodded in agreement, but written across the faces of others was a tearful longing for such an expression of love.

Q. There can’t be much wrong with wanting to be loved “just the way you are”? Can there?

Joan: I agree the words are beautiful and that most would desire to be involved with such a devoted partner. However, before any of us should want to hear those words from an outsider, we should be able to look in the mirror and recite those words to ourselves.

Q. So what’s the issue here? Self-love?

Joan: It’s more about feeling the need to look externally for love. Why can’t we find it within ourselves to have a love affair with ourselves. Each of us is the one person we can always count on from cradle to grave. Why do we need someone else to tell us we’re beautiful in order to believe it?

Q. My grandmother indicated to me that such self-love is a form of vanity and not so good. Why is it important to love yourself?

Joan: If you don’t love yourself, how can you truly love another and participate in a mutually beneficial, healthy relationship? It’s time to stop looking outside and begin a love relationship with yourself. Once you do, one day should you hear those words from another, it will be the icing on the cake and not the cake, and you’ll believe those words, own them and treasure them.

Q. How can one get there, to self-love?

Joan: Here’s my challenge to you, write the following words on a piece of paper and tape them on your bathroom mirror. Every morning when you wake up (after brushing your teeth) and every evening before you go to sleep (after brushing your teeth), look directly in the mirror… smile as big as you can… and recite the following:

“When I see your face

There’s not a thing that I would change

Cause you’re amazing

Just the way you are.

And when you smile

The whole world stops and stares for awhile

Cause… you’re amazing

Just the way you are.” Bruno Mars

Say it… hear it… believe it… Cause you’re amazing, just the way you are!