That word is “learning.”
At the risk of sounding cliche, loving yourself is a process that never ends. You and I will always be learning how to do it.
And that’s the entire point.
Loving yourself is not a destination.
Think about it.
Have you ever gotten to a point where you’ve decided, “OK, that’s it! I now love myself enough. Well done, me!”
When you think about it that way, it sounds silly.
But it’s no sillier than pursuing all the other “wants” we seek in life.
Food. Love. Money. Fame.
These all sound like they would be great to have in abundance, but is that really true?
What happens when you actually get there?
Are you going to be a completely different person?
Or are you going to be the same person, just with more stuff to worry about?
When I was in college, I had a very naive way of looking at the world.
I truly believed that people who got what they wanted were happy.
I thought that there was a certain amount of things that you needed to collect in life–and then you win.
I’m smiling now as I type this.
I now know that loving yourself is not about collecting things. It’s about immersing yourself in experiences. It’s about stumbling on happiness, as Dr. Daniel Gilbert wrote.
In his excellent book, Dr. Gilbert writes
about how his research showed him that we aren’t actually very good at knowing what will make us happy. We think getting to a new place or a new job will do the trick, but we really have no idea.
He states that it’s a much better idea to actually ask people who are doing the things we think we want to do about how they currently feel.
And there it is again.
It’s always about being in the moment.
Loving yourself is not something you do. It’s something that you are.
When you are immersed in something, you suddenly realize you love yourself and that you’re happy.
The problem is, once you realize it, the moment is gone, and you have to go back to doing what you were doing to find love and happiness again.