I know, we have heard this a million times and it sounds good, but no one tells us exactly how to do it. The word love has been overused to the point we don’t even know what it means anymore. I guess it means different things to different people, but to me love is closer to acceptance than any other term. Acceptance is the inner attitude, attention is the manifestation of love, that is, what we do that signifies love. When I wholeheartedly accept myself, with everything I like and dislike about me, whatever others do and think, with all my limitations, fears, and “negative” feelings, I can start loving myself. But how can I accept someting I don’t know? I can’t. That’s why attention is a key ingredient. I have to get to know me, all of me. The way to this is paying attention, actively observing me without judgement: what I think, how I feel, what makes me feel good, what makes me hurt. First observe with attention your reactions, your feelings, name them to yourself, accept you sometimes feel envy and hate, depression and hoplessness, along with happiness, joy and tenderness. Watch them all, and let yourself see you completely. Only then can you accept who you really are instead of who you want to be. When you accept yourself without wanting to change anything or be anyone else, you have begun to love yourself. Then pay attention to yourself, deal with your issues, forgive yourself for whatever you feel guilty about, be compassionate and patient with yourself. Only then are you being truly loving to you.