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

A few weeks ago I was invited to be the keynote speaker 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 or 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. That reaction stayed with me.

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After my presentation, I engaged in a conversation with audience members, most of whom expressed self doubt and even self loathing. It got me to thinking about the song that opened the event and the response to it by listeners. I wondered why we spend so much time outside looking for love, but hardly any time cultivating self love.

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

Why is external validation so important? Why are we so unwilling to have a love affair with ourselves? We are the one person we can always count on from cradle to grave. Why do we need someone else to tell us we’re amazing in order to believe it?

If we don’t practice self love, how can we truly love another and participate in a mutually beneficial, healthy relationship? It is time to stop looking outside and begin a love relationship with the person who truly matters … YOU! 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 and treasure them.

Here’s my challenge to you … write the following words on a piece of paper and tape it on your bathroom mirror. Every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to sleep, 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!