What’s (self-)love got to do with it?

Giovanni Roselli on set of Showtime’s “HAPPYish” with star Steve Coogan. Photograph courtesy Giovanni Roselli.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within in.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Amour. Amore. El amore. Whether you say it in French, Italian or Spanish, the word “love” is part of every language but differently. I once heard that the English language is the only language that uses “love” to describe a relationship with objects. “I love my car.” “I loved that movie.” “I really love that restaurant.” 

In today’s society, especially with the use of social media, the word “love” is thrown around more than ever. 

By February, our New Year’s resolutions may have already slipped. Commit to using the word “love” only to describe the relationships with your family, friends and even your pets. To be even more specific, let’s use that word “love “to strengthen the most important relationship in your life — the love for yourself and your body. 

When you look into the mirror, do you love what you see? Do you say positive words to describe your self-image? We can all too often fall into the trap of looking at a magazine or watching television and wishing that we looked like that actor, or performed like that athlete. Why are we looking to others?   

The goal of a fitness routine is not only to help our physical being but to bolster our emotional state. When we exercise, it releases happy chemicals in the brain. Many hormones are released that can ease anxiety, help with de-stressing and provide energy and vitality, as well as combat depression and insomnia.  

Last year, I guest-starred on the television program “HAPPYish,” which aired on Showtime. The main character Thomas Payne, played by Steve Coogan, constantly battles the media culture, current corporate climate, parenthood and middle age all in an attempt to figure out what his purpose in life is.  

We all face many obstacles in today’s society, just like Thomas Payne. Our job is not only to get to the point of being “happy-ish” but to realize that to become any more than that comes from within. 

For those who pay attention to airline announcements before a flight takes off (and we all should), they always instruct you in case of an emergency to place your oxygen mask on before assisting others. There is a lot of meaning here. You need to be in a good place with yourself first.

Next time you are about to say, “I love that…” consider the context. Think about using it on yourself and others rather than an object or material things. Love yourself and love your body. 

As William Shakespeare reminds us, “To thine own self be true.” And once we are true to ourselves, then and only then can we truly love another. 

Reach Giovanni on twitter @GiovanniRoselli and his website, GiovanniRoselli.com.

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