The media and our inner-dialogue can be brutal. Everyday we are bombarded with images that tell us we don’t quite measure up. Through commercials, TV shows, songs, videos, magazines and films, we are constantly hit over the head with thoughts that we are too fat, too skinny, hopelessly single, unhappy, stereotypically bitter and angry, or desperately in need a new wardrobe in order to reach some level of happiness that is completely unattainable and unrealistic.

Contrary to the messages we receive—from the media, our girls, or even ourselves—happiness does not come by looking good or acquiring things. At the risk of sounding all crunchy granola, at the end of the day, happiness comes from within.

In the April 2011 issue of O, Oprah’s magazine, the media powerhouse shared a few of her private journals. Not only does she have the gift of gab, but Oprah loves to write and has been keeping a diary since she was 16. While reading through the selections, I especially enjoyed watching her progress from an unsure teen, to a self-confident, self-aware woman.

Oprah writes:

“I’ve been journaling since I was 15. It’s a wonder that I’ve managed to be a successful human being considering how pathetic I appeared in many of my daily musings. It’s a testment to growth and grace that I’ve come this far.

I wrote a lot of bad poetry in my teens and 20s, mostly about how some guy had done me wrong. I used my journals as therapy. Oh, the time I wasted worrying about men and weight, and what other people thought!

In my 40s, I got wiser. I started using journals to express my gratitude—and watched my blessings multiply. What you focus on expands.”

That idea—that what we focus on expands and multiples in our lives—made me think.

How often do we speak negatively to ourselves? How many times have you criticized how you look, act, sound, or questioned your intelligence?

While there is certainly merit in self-reflection, the goal shouldn’t be to tear yourself down, but rather build yourself into a bigger and better you.

So in the spirit of expanding the positivity in our lives, answer me this: What do you love most about yourself?


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