Self-love starts by staring in the mirror. Stare hard enough, in very bright light, until you see every flaw in your skin, face, and body. With your eyes wide open, start narrating the stories behind each flaw in your skin. Follow that by drawing beautiful images with every stretch mark on your body. Finally, take a break after thinking of a funny anecdote for the acne on your face. This is how you are supposed to start falling in love with yourself.

Buy yourself flowers, spray natural scents, and then have a candlelit dinner by yourself. Yes, it even helps to look yourself in the eye and say, “I am beautiful!”

Cue: Christina Aguilera.

Put makeup on, look nice, go out. Fish for compliments. When tired, meditate; reflect on the beauty in your surroundings, and breathe it in.

When you are having a hard day, eat sugar and be happy! Then look yourself in the eye and say, “I am beautiful!”

This is how the world tells you to fall in love with yourself.

Wait. Before the happily ever after, fall into some new habits.

Fall into the habit of following the different. On social media, follow those who stand out, those with a different understanding of beauty from the norm. In everyday life, follow those whom you can dive into their souls and learn.

Fall into the habit of letting go. Let go of what society likes, what your family prefers, and what your friends recommend. Let go of all that holds you back, and embrace all that is new.

Laugh out loud. Learn to laugh at your pain. Learn to smile until your teeth show. Remember that any argument becomes weaker when you smile. Every morning, stare at yourself with eyes wide open and laugh.

Every day, learn a new habit until you start feeling like yourself – until you recognize the reflection in the mirror – until self-love becomes a state of mind. When every scar tells a part of your story, these stories become the core of who you are.

Self-love is a superpower that you can gain. It is a discipline you can learn. But best of all, it is a contagious trait. It is the journey of accepting all your insecurities; this is how you slowly fall in love with yourself.

Originally published at Shut Up and Go.

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