It’s the email I get at least ten times a week, from a man or a woman or a teen or even an elderly person. It’s written from the place of a broken heart, because the object of their desire isn’t paying attention to them or has severed relations with them all together. And their email always ends the same similar way, “How to I make someone love me?” or “How do I win them back?”

They want me to wave a relationship expert wand and assign a few magical words to bring them perfect love and heal their broken heart. But I never do. Instead I ask the writers of those emails to swallow a bitter pill and trust me. Here is the bitter pill: Someone else’s love is never a replacement for self love.

When you are longing, you have lost a connection with your own deepest wisdom. You’ve probably gotten out of touch with nature, and family, and deep trusted friendships, and instead are wallowing in the fantasy that love from one specific person will solve it all. And it will. Though, not for long.

How do you make someone love you? Easy. Replace the “someone” with YOU. I know. It sounds trite and pop-psyche, this idea of self love, but it really is the most important love you will ever attain. When you are filled up with confidence, and self-respect, and self-acceptance, your behaviors toward every living thing will become increasingly positive and loving. You will be able to release anger toward those who have wronged you, and forgive them. You will look into the eyes of a neighbor and ask his first name. You will become active in your community, all for good. You will be calmer in a traffic jam. You will stop more often to hear birds singing and the wind filtering through leaves. You will find peace.

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And then love will find you. It may not come from the source or soul where you once hung your anxious hat. It may not even come from a romantic relationship. But if you are truly, deeply, honest and calm and in love with the imperfection that is your own humanity, love will find you. I promise.

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