Years ago, I had read that I should “love myself first”.

I didn’t really understand what this meant. Should I write myself poetry? Give myself awards? Sing sweet songs to myself?

Over the years, I pondered this and explored different ways of trying to love myself.

At first, it was small gestures, like buying myself flowers every week. Then, I forced myself to go to the movies alone…just with me, myself, and I. (It was a bit awkward, but now it’s no big deal.) I would also take a morning off and play “tourist” around my community. I was amazed at how many small shops near me I had never even entered!

After a year or two of trying new things, a wonderful habit developed. I started setting time for myself EVERY morning to read in my sunny porch, sit in the yard, or walk on a trail.

I also started setting lunch dates with my girlfriends, and organized neighborhood potluck dinner nights.

I found time to exercise, and tried to choose activities I enjoyed like hitting tennis balls against the backboard, and riding my bike down a fun trail. I also made time to stretch like a cat, and be as still and quiet as a mouse.

I made playing with my husband a priority. We found time to hike, ski, play golf, tennis and cribbage, and go to lots of movies. I also learned to truly receive the wonderful love he has for me.

I learned to invest in myself through exploring self-growth tools like yoga, meditation, and journaling. I figured out how to get out of my own way and let my inner beauty shine through.

I put all my bills on autopay and learned to live on less.

After all of these discoveries and actions, I thought I had finally learned to love myself.

I was wrong.

It wasn’t until I did this one thing did I really truly love myself:

I became LOVE.

That’s right. I actually learned the importance and value of choosing love as a WAY OF LIFE. I realized that love is always the CORRECT ANSWER to any situation.

When I started testing this theory out, my inner life changed dramatically. Instead of having to wrestle and wrangle with life’s challenges and stresses as they arose, the answer became SIMPLE…and it ALWAYS worked! When life threw me lemons, I chose love!

A great sense of calm enveloped me…and still does. Years have passed since I discovered this, and love has never failed me. Ever.

My dear grownUPgirls, my greatest wish for you is to discover this, too:

Love is the Answer.

Q: Are you LOVE?