Sibley-Fleming2bI am a writer and an editor who grew up in the South, the daughter of a jazz musician and a freedom rider. I am blessed with two grown sons who bring me endless joy, and my first grandson who helps me to see the world again for the very first time. I love reading and learning, long nature walks, yoga, and the daily practice of living—from positive affirmations to the sometimes-thriving wheatgrass farm on my back porch.

Why practice life? Well, because extremely toxic messages are beaming into our brains from every corner every day. And then we amplify and make them worse by repetition. We see advertising images that tell us that we’re not young enough, thin enough, cool enough, fast enough, smart enough, good enough. We’re constantly being graded, judged, and measured—and found lacking by one source or another.

I believe that the antidote to all of these unhealthy messages is to learn to love yourself.

Since pulling on that one thin thread, I’ve seen daily improvement in my own life and relationships, the choices I make for myself, and my willingness to go down mental paths that lead to No Good End. I’ve learned that no matter how hard you are on yourself, no matter what you have done or had done to you—body, mind, or spirit—you can heal.

Not only can you heal and find happiness and peace and fulfillment in every part of your life, you are never alone. The Universe is working on your behalf in every moment of every hour of every day, and you have a purpose and you are exactly where you need to be, right here, right now.

You may want to begin with this simple exercise: Go to a mirror, look deeply in your own eyes, and say these three words: “I love you.” But before you do, know this: No matter what you think you see or what emotions you feel: You are already beautiful. You are already perfect. And you are already worthy of love.