As 2011 comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on the many lessons that I’ve learned about love. First and foremost, I’ve learned to love me. I love me unconditionally. I love me for my imperfections. I love me for my brightness. I love me for my wholeness. I love me through it all. Self-love was a huge ongoing lesson for me in 2011, as it required me to make decisions and sacrifices keeping “me” in mind. I transitioned into a full-time writing career, which increased my happiness tenfold but required a huge pay cut after leaving my full-time marketing gig. I changed my lifestyle from a stressed livelihood in New York City to a tranquil daily life Bahia, Brasil. And I made a decision to stop giving myself to someone who cared for me, but wasn’t in a space to give me the level of partnership that I desired. With all of these lessons and life modifications, I’ve started to ask myself what kind of love I need for 2012. And I figured the exercise would be a good one for you too.

Self-love: It’s the beginning and the end. All things, decisions, and solutions that you come up with must be rooted in self-love; otherwise, they won’t sustain themselves. Because loving yourself will inspire you to keep “you” in mind in the other areas of your life, I’d recommend that you get to know your desires, what makes you happy, and what brings you fulfillment on a daily basis. This is an ongoing journey, one that you should walk in 2012 and keep trekking for the rest of your life.

Career: Money matters. Anyone who tells you different is lying. But passion matters more. There are ways to make money doing what you love. But the key is for you to be hungry, digging for ways to monetize your interests or supporting yourself in other ways that allow you to focus the majority of time on your passions. Passionate, financially stable careers do not happen overnight. If you’re not willing to grind for a long time, not get paid sufficiently for awhile, and network like your life depends on it, a passion-filled career may not be for you. Think about how bad you want it, or if you’re already on your journey toward it, how bad you want to keep going. Then, ask if your current career is keeping you true to your goal of self-love. Decide from there.

Lifestyle: Stress kills. It’s not normal to wake up everyday feeling like your life sucks and wishing you could change almost everything about it. You need to do things that again reinforce you loving you. Do you meditate? Do you exercise and feed your body with food that will make it pure and strong? Do you keep close friends that remind you of your greatness and why you can’t settle for less? Have you built relationships with your family that allow you to love you first but also respect their needs for kindness and affection? All of these things contribute to your lifestyle, so focus on bringing peace to all of these pieces. In addition, consider the next topic below.

Relationships: Being in love is the most beautiful feeling when it’s healthy love. Regardless of whether you’re single or in a relationship, love is something that we should try to emit and evolve in with all of the men or women that enter our love lives. With self-love as your guide, you should love people as you want to be loved, fearlessly, vulnerably, and deeply. If you see that they’re incapable of returning that love and unwilling to work toward it, then you move on. But when you put the type of love you want into the universe, eventually, you’ll attract someone who wants the same type of love that you do. Don’t settle. But don’t clam up and stop loving either.

How are you planning to love you in 2012? Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to figure it out. Speak on it now.

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  • Jene

    Written beautifully, I’m saving this to read when I need some inspiration.

    “I changed my lifestyle from a stressed livelihood in New York City to a tranquil daily life Bahia, Brasil.” Sounds just like what I want to do soo refreshing!!

    Happy 2012 to all!!!

    • Marielle

      I agree. The article was beautifully written. Funny thing is im considering a secondment to New York from London for the experience!

      Happy 2012 to you and all.