Who do you love?

I don’t do vulnerability well. Don’t like admitting weakness. Don’t like feeling scared. Don’t want people to think that I’m not smart enough to handle it all on my own, thank you very much.

Sound familiar?

In short, I’m not brave enough to face the uncertainty of simply showing up without any protective armor or “expectation of being seen with no guarantee of outcome” (as Brené Brown describes it in her new book, “Rising Strong”). Maybe that’s why it’s taken me a lifetime to learn that you can’t experience authentic love from others unless you can wholeheartedly love yourself first. Which is why these spots from Dove (“My Beauty”) and JC Penney (“Here I am”) resonate so strongly for me. I love how they celebrate the power of putting yourself out there and finding the body positivity and self-acceptance that go along with it.

We'll know we've finally achieved enlightenment when we allow love to embrace all of us, including our { selves }.

What’s { self } love got to do with it?

Valentine's Day has a lot to answer for. If you are in a happy partnership, it’s a wonderful day. If you’re not, it can be awkward, sad or simply something to endure as painlessly as possible.

But what if we were to reframe the sentiment of the occasion? Instead of looking for love in other places, from other people, we found it in ourselves. If we showed ourselves the same love, respect and affection we ordinarily—and typically—might bestow on someone else.

What if we celebrated what’s good about ourselves (for a change) and took a holiday from self-criticism and self-judgment? 

What if we practiced a little self-love—on this day and every day? How would that change our state of mind?

Some tips for getting started:

1. Commit to self-care. Your body is a work of art. Treat it with the respect and awe it deserves. Practice good “fit-rition:” eat good-for-you foods, savor every bite and work in a work out every day. (It doesn’t have to be an hour!) And a mani-pedi or other self-indulgence couldn’t hurt.

2. Love the one you’re with (with starting with yourself). Live your life according to your values, not someone else’s. Do your best and be as proud as you can be of your work at the end of the day. There may always be setbacks but don’t beat yourself up about them. Ask instead: why is this happening for me? What can I learn?

3. Live with passion. Physical, emotional, intellectual. Go full out for what or who you believe in, care about, love. All that positive energy will come back to you.

4. Be your best self, the person you’d most like to spend time with. When you are authentically you (not some pale imitation of someone else), you attract those who mirror your best qualities and create synergy that spreads the good vibes outward.

Diamonds may be forever, but healthy self-love can help you live happily every after.

And while we’re on the subject, fall in love with “Fat Girl.” Our new e-book, on sale now.