Today is Day 27 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jumpstarting your own self-love.

You have the patience to wait on line to buy a ticket to a movie you’re anxious to see or to pay for an item you really want in a store. You have the patience to learn a skill or new language that interests you or to get better at using an electronic gadget or doing social media or fixing something to save money on paying someone else to do it or learn to drive or other skills in everyday life.

Yet so many of us don’t have the patience to learn who we are and how to love ourselves so we can be happy.

We put time into external activities in an effort to find the kind of happiness that’s often elusive, because we don’t take the time to nurture ourselves. Becoming a happy person doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not about buying something expensive or losing weight or having prestige in your career. If you want to be truly happy, you need to patiently get to know what makes you tick in your heart and your soul.

Find out what really matters to you. The joy from a purchase or other external accomplishment can be fleeting for the moment you have it but rarely creates inner contentment. That comes from taking the long route to happiness—figuring out what really feels meaningful to you and building self-love. Yet we’re a society of instant gratification.

We’ll have the patience and make the time to take a class to become better at a skill but not to get through Self 101.

What would truly make you happy for the long haul? People who come to my classes or who do counseling with me rarely can answer that. Of course many say if they made a lot of money they’d be happy. Yet look at all the people whose lives crumble after winning the lottery! Money doesn’t create inner contentment or self-love, which are keys to happiness. It provides security but you’ll spend and spend, still trying to be happy if you aren’t happy already.

Ask yourself, “Do I have the patience to be happy?”

If the answer is yes, sit down and think about what’s really lacking in your life. Most of the time it’s love. Love is a catalyst for happiness. And it starts with loving you! So instead of pursuing outside avenues for happiness, work on loving yourself. That is the key to happiness! Building self-love takes patience. Mine evolved over years and it’s still growing. I can attest that patience is worth it to own yourself and control your true happiness. When you get to the point of loving you for who you are, not what you do or how little you weigh or how much money you make, the world can be yours!

Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge–a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the next 31 days–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2011 HERE.

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