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5 Reasons Why Self-Love Matters

By Ashley Michelle Williams--Since it’s the month of love, aka February, I thought it might be appropriate to also write about another kind of love—it’s the kind of love that you have with yourself.

When I first thought about writing this story, the one thing that came to my mind was Justin Bieber’s new song, “Love Yourself.” (Side note: I’m actually listening to it for inspiration as I am writing this story.) It’s so authentic and real. It touches on how many of us may have felt about a relationship. I love this song. I could play it over and over and over again…actually, I do.

OK, back to my point. In the case of this song, let’s think of the terrible person as being your eating disorder, and you’re responding to their negativity with self-love. Practicing self-love is not only healthy; it’s empowering. Your love for yourself immensely benefits your life and the lives of those around you.

Whether you’re in a relationship with another person or not, you need to remember to take care of yourself by putting your health, your sanity and your peace first, and that starts with self-love. Here are five reasons why self-love is so important:

1. Your life depends on it.

The only way to move forward and to progress in life is to love yourself. So, in a way, your life depends on nurturing your goals, your health and your wellbeing.

2. It’s how to truly live.

When you love yourself, you allow yourself to truly live, to embrace yourself and to become all that you are capable of being. By realizing your own inherent value you will be able to have a greater impact on the lives of those around you.

3. It is so much harder to love someone else without loving yourself.

If you don’t know how to fulfill your own needs, then how can you tell someone else how to fulfill them? If you don’t realize your own value, it makes it easier for others to miss it too.

4. It’s how to overcome your obstacles, like eating disorders.

The way to overcome your obstacles is to genuinely work towards loving yourself and your body. When you choose yourself, you are owning your life and making the choice to overcome all things that you face.

5. No one can take care of you quite like you can.

You are responsible for your life. You are responsible for your wellbeing. You are responsible for how you live and what you will and will not tolerate.  No one else can take of you like you take care of yourself. Period.

About the blogger: Ashley Michelle Williams is an energetic, world-traveled broadcast and digital journalist. She currently works at NBC Network News. For her efforts in journalism, Ashley has received many honors, including the 2011 Student Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists; the Pat Tobin Scholarship from the Black Journalists Association of Southern California, a Hearst Journalism Award Nomination; and more. Having overcome anorexia and bulimia, she hopes her involvement in NEDA and her support of those battling eating disorders will help many people, especially African-Americans, who are suffering from eating disorders. The opinions in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect those of NBC.

Also by Ashley Michelle Williams:

I’m Grateful My Mom Encouraged Healthy Body Image, Not Dieting

Unbinding Myself from Myself

5 Ways to Break Free of the Comparison Game

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