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All You Need Is LoVE

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LoVE is all you need. Especially at this time of year, as millions of Americans are struggling to change behaviors that they have deemed unacceptable, the need for LoVE is paramount.

I love the new year. Honestly, I do. I just hate resolutions, and what they do to people. Take losing weight, for example. Have you ever wondered why losing weight is always the most popular resolution? The answer is simple. It’s because diets don’t work, so even if someone lost weight last year, chances are they gained it back, plus more, and therefore, feel the need to lose weight all over again. In fact, many of our resolutions “fail,” when we take the approach that we need to “get ourselves in line,” or “control our impulses.” So, why, then do we do this to ourselves every year?

One huge reason lies behind what we see with our weary eyes. Companies spend millions of dollars making sure that we are not satisfied with ourselves, so that we will buy their products, and suddenly become new and improved beings. Many research studies, including one that I did myself, have shown that exposure to advertising, for as little as sixty seconds, reduces self-esteem. This is a well-known fact in the marketing industry. As long as we think there is something wrong with us, whether it be our weight, or our hair, or our lack of the exact jeans that will make us desirable, someone stands to make money. And lots of it.

So, here, is a little-known secret that corporate America does not want you to know. You are perfect. Right now. Right here. Exactly as you are.

Now, I realize that many of you might not believe me. How could I know this if I don’t even know you? But I do know you. You are my brothers and sisters. We all come from the same cloth. We will all die one day. We are all human. And our differences are beautiful. That mole on your face is distinctive. Did you know that some people draw fake ones, just to look like you? Oh, and the little gap between your teeth? Gorgeous. And the few extra pounds around your midsection? Lovely and amazing.

But, you might ask, what about not losing the dreams inside my head? What if I want to make a change for the better?

All True Change Starts With Acceptance.

We cannot make lasting changes through force of will alone. Maybe this is why the first step in any 12 step program is to admit powerlessness over the addiction. Only when we truly accept ourselves for who we are, can we become who we were meant to be. Or, as Dave puts it, only when we give love do we become what we are.

That is why the only resolution you will ever need is to love yourself. If you love yourself, chances are, you will treat your body, mind, and soul well. And sometimes you won’t, but that’s okay too, because life is meant to be a beautifully broken joyride of sweet ups and downs.    

Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.

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