Self-Love and Passion

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What is the single, most powerful antidote to the Pain Station of Low Self-Esteem? I believe it can only be love – for oneself and for the gift God has put in you.

This gift I refer to is your passion. It is the talent, skill or purpose you were particularly created for that will bless the world. When you learn to love yourself and find what you love to do, it will make your self-worth go up a gazillion notches higher. And you will begin to look at the ex who demeaned you as just a stepping-stone on your road to becoming a better person. You will emerge like gold that went through the refiner’s fire.

Let me share with you an article I wrote for Insight Magazine about learning to love yourself. I have revised it for solo parents taking the painful first steps away from a relationship that torpedoed their worth.

I Love Me, First

Loving yourself first may seem like a selfish, self-centered concept, but in Matthew 22:39, Jesus declared it as part of the second greatest commandment — “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How you love yourself then becomes the standard by which you will love your neighbor. If the quality of that self-love is poor, you cannot give as much as you should.

Self-love is basic to your survival and those dependent on you, your children. Loving yourself first is so vital that if this is not done properly, lives are destroyed — your own and those of others close to you.

Those who do not know the art of self-love become depressed, have low self-esteem, fail in various aspects of their lives, and are unable to maintain happy relationships. There are many ways to love yourself but let me just give you four ways to get you started on building the bedrock of your self-worth.

Love yourself as God loves you.

You are so important that He gave His only Son to save you. Can you treat yourself any less? So give up feelings, habits or relationships that harm the beautiful creation He made you to be. Take care of the blessings He gives you 365 days a year. Nurture your body, nourish your soul, and expand your mind. The way God loves you is not narcissistic, egotistic and proud. It is an affirmation for making you in His image.

Offer yourself the affection a lover will give.

Give yourself a hug, a pat in the back, a treat. Why wait for someone else to give you affection? Why stay miserable because the one you thought was Mr. or Ms. Right has stopped giving it to you? Do not depend on other people to make you happy or fulfill you. “You complete me” is just some cheesy line from a movie. Be the complete person that people will want to have as part of their lives.

Value your uniqueness and special gifts.

Stop comparing yourself with others, especially the one they left you for. You were made for an extraordinary purpose. There is something only you were meant to do. When you get rejected, think of life as a cobblestone path. Your individual characteristics and qualities were formed for a particular spot in that path. Only you will fit into it. Use your talents to make a difference in that niche and in the lives of others. Believe me, there are people who will not be as blind to the special person you are.

Explore new horizons and affirm your achievements.

List goals you want to accomplish or things you’ve always wanted to try. Make them simple at first so you don’t get frustrated. Reward yourself when you get something done. That will give you the self-confidence to do more things. Then build on that by trying out more challenging goals. You might surprise yourself with how competent you are at doing certain things. But be kind and considerate to yourself when you fail or have shortcomings. Instead, focus on what you do best.

What you do best is the key to finding your passion. Your passion will drive you to achieve your goals. Your achievements will make you feel good about yourself.

*This excerpt was taken from the book “The Happy Solo Kit” by Lella Santiago. Available in paperback and e-book copy at

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