I was truly flattered when a respected life coach asked to interview me on the topic of self-love. She explained the interview would be videoed and I went to work compiling as much information as I could. I hadn’t even heard the phrase “self-love” until was in my 40’s. It just seemed way too sappy a concept and too overwhelming a request.

During the interview, I shared that my journey to self-love began when a trauma forced me down inside myself. Until then, my focus had always been outward, doing my best to make sure others loved me—not noticing my own heart. I shared that the lack of self-love affected my ability to make decisions.  Often, before taking a step forward, I would wait for all my ducks to get in a row, but not all ducks do that. From experience, I understood that making the wrong decisions, or making mistakes of any kind, put me at risk of being belittled, discounted and losing the love of others for which I was so desperate.

I shared that before I could love myself, I had to shift my focus inward and just be friends with myself for a while. Because of this shift I learned to speak my truth, most of the time. I began to be gentle with myself, some of the time. I practiced saying “No,” when I felt strong enough and my favorite self-love practices were simple: curling up with a good book, being in nature and journaling.

The interview lasted an hour and as soon as the video stopped recording, the first things out of my mouth were “My hair looked terrible! I used my hands too much! I talked too fast! I sounded awful!”

The women who had interviewed me couldn’t stop laughing. “Didn’t you just spend an hour talking about self-love?!”

Busted! What a fraud! Is it possible to be a star-crossed lover with yourself, almost connecting, but not quite?

Now I focus on a simple, three-step approach to self-love:

1. Practice.

2. Makes lots of mistakes.

3. Laugh as often you can!