How to Love Yourself

How to Love Yourself by Dean Atta


Write your own list and only take from this

the things that work for you.

Yoga. Running. Walking. Meditation.

A good night’s sleep. Drinking plenty of water.

Comfort food. Quality time. Turning off

your phone. Cinema trips alone. Forgiveness.


Do not make a list of your virtues

and vices. Do not do it because of your virtues

or in spite of your vices. Do not feed your fears.

Your fears have an insatiable appetite.

Do not feed your ego. Your ego has an insatiable appetite.

Learn to live with a certain amount of hunger.


Do not expect to be full all of the time.

Do not place parts of yourself on the table to be dined upon.

Go to the library and take yourself off the shelf.

Check yourself out. Read yourself.

If you are not satisfied with how your story reads,

make as many edits as you want to.


Take the new edition of yourself back to the library

and if asked about the edits, politely, or not

so politely, remind them that you are the author.

When no one turns up to your poetry reading.

Read the poems out loud anyway. When no one turns up

to be your father, grow up to become a great man anyway.


Say your name out loud until you feel good

about the way it sounds. If that proves impossible

– rename yourself. Remember

if you rename yourself for a laugh

too many times on Facebook, you may get stuck

with a bad joke. Learn to laugh at yourself more often.


Do not spend too much time on social media

looking at other people’s photos, relationships,

marriages or Valentines. Refuse

to acknowledge February 14th as any more important

than any other day. Do not compare

your days to anyone else’s.


Yes, you have the same amount of hours

in the day as Beyoncé but you are not Beyoncé.

Find yourself. Find yourself attractive.

If that proves impossible – relearn what attractive is.

You are not tinder, you are already flame.

Swipe right to your reflection every morning.


Say this in the mirror, “I accept myself

unconditionally right now.” Remember

that just because someone is single and finds you

attractive and good company

that does not mean they will be able to love you.

There are many reasons someone may not


be able to love you that are not about you.

Their reasons are not your faults, not your reflection.

Their reasons belong to them.

Remember that no one belongs to you, but you.

No one knows you as well as you do

and your list needn’t read anything like this.

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