Loving Ourselves to Success

Yesterday, a new Miss Universe was crowned. Her name is Leila Lopes and she is from the African country of Angola. What strikes me most about this young  25 year old woman is not her physical beauty (after all, all the other 88 contestants are beautiful too), but it is what I perceive to be a self love that shines through her.

2011 Miss Universe - Leila Lopes, Miss Angola

During the pageant, when asked what physical trait she would like to change, she responded with barely a hesitation, “Thank God I’m very satisfied with the way God
created me and I wouldn’t change a thing. I consider myself a woman endowed
with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and
I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.” Can you say, Wow?

How many of us if asked the same question could have confidently stated that we love ourselves – our whole selves – just the way we are and are not dreaming of any changes? Many of you are thinking about what you would like to change even as you read this. Are you blocking your success because you don’t love yourself?

Isn’t it time that we began to learn to accept who we are and how we are made? Love your quirks. Love the broadness of your smile. Love the lines and curves of your
body. This does not preclude taking care of you. Loving yourself means you take
care of yourself. Yes, please do stay in shape. Yes, do brush your teeth.
Please read and expand your mind.

The bible says we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. So, clearly God expects us to love ourselves. Why is that so difficult for so many of us? Lately, I launched
a 7-day “I Love Myself” Challenge. The goal is to simply track the number of
negative thoughts and words we think and speak to ourselves over a seven day
period.  At the end of the seven days, multiply the number of negative comments by 25 cents and donate that amount to your local food pantry.

What is the purpose of the challenge? Simply, to get us to re-train what we think about and
how we talk to ourselves. How many times have you berated yourself for being
stupid, less than, unworthy, ugly, overweight, underweight, etc.? How often do
you speak loving and kind words to yourself? When was the last time you smiled
at yourself? Laughed at your own joke? Ate healthy because you love your body?
Thanked your mind for thinking, your taste buds for tasting, your teeth for
chewing, and your ears for hearing?

Let’s get back to self love. Let’s get back to recognizing how fearfully and wonderfully we each are made. Let’s get back to appreciating the beauty God has put in everyone of
us. Louis L. Hays said, “Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves
works miracles…”  Let us get back to loving ourselves even as Leila Lopes, our 2011 Miss Universe, apparently does.  As we grow in self love, more love
will flow through us to others.  What a wonderful world we could build. Join the “I Love Myself” Challenge today and transform your world. Congratulations, Miss Lopes. I wish you much continued success.