“The purpose of life is to live it,
to taste experience to the utmost,
to reach out eagerly and without fear
for newer and richer experience.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I'm learning to take more pictures with me in it, to love my physical and emotional traits. 

Most people love someone, or have experienced some kind of love in their lives. Have you? I love my parents, my siblings, grandparents, friends, my husband, my kids, but I haven’t always loved is myself. The last few years I have really been working on how to love myself more. I feel that self-love goes hand in hand with happiness. So what is the magic recipe for happiness? And the question can also be asked how do you love yourself even if you feel happy?

I’ve found that at different times in my life my happiness comes and goes. We all go through trials and hardships. I have found the most love in my own home with my husband and kids, but I can’t always feel the love from other people. I then start to believe about myself what I think that others feel about me. It is a very difficult cycle.

Growing up the one person who I knew always loved me was my Grandma Budd. She always made me feel important, beautiful, smart and loved. I realized though, she always talked down about herself. Now that she is gone I wonder, did she really feel that way about herself? You talk to anyone who knew her and you will only hear good things. Why did she not love herself the way she loved others? She was always a happy person, but she didn’t have the self-love and confidence that she always encouraged me to have.

Over the last year I’ve really started to love myself more. I’ve learned that there’s no secret or magic recipe. What has helped me the most is instead of loving my best qualities I need to love what is different about me. Traits that you possess can be viewed as faults, weaknesses, negatives, symptoms of failure—embrace it! We can’t live a full life if we don’t love ourselves completely. Maybe those are the things that are actually great about you. I have seen so many people on Social Media challenging their followers to list 100 things that you love about yourself. I am going to give the same challenge, but find things that maybe you didn’t ever think of before. List your unique qualities that may be faults to others, but really are special things that make you YOU! Change can happen, maybe not right away, slowly with time—then you will love yourself. I have begun finding little moments in my day—I can’t always find the words to describe them, but I am enjoying those moments more.

“You have to be unique, and different,
And shine in your own way.”
~ Lady Gaga

Here are a few of my own quirks that I am learning to love:

·         I have to go to bed with a clean house, it can be obsessive and annoying. I LOVE that I am so happy when I wake up.

·         I have about 10 journals that I currently am writing in. I LOVE that later on I have so many memories and special experiences to look back on.

·         I make my kids have quiet time, so I can have quiet time. I LOVE that I get that time to myself, but that my kids are also learning to be calm and entertain themselves for an hour a day.

“I’ve always like quiet people:
You never know if they’re dancing in a daydream
or if they’re carrying the weight of the world.”
~ John Green

·         I am extremely shy and have a hard time opening up to people in person. I LOVE that once I do open up I trust that person and I am a dedicated friend.

·         I have lists all over my house—to do lists, shopping lists, cleaning lists, reading lists, writing lists, questions for doctors lists… I LOVE that I am organized.

·         I can get obsessed with my ancestors and family history. I LOVE that I can take any ancestor and learn something from their trials and experiences and relate it to my own life and share it with others.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The purpose of life is to give it away.”
~ Pablo Picasso

What do you love about yourself?