The Road To Self-Love
Self-love, why is it so difficult to get to? Why does it feel like a lifelong, ever evolving journey? We know how important love is in our life, and yet the one we seem to have the hardest time loving unconditionally is the one who shows up in our reflection every day. I know that self-love will be something I am constantly working on. There will always be noise internally and externally that can lead me down a path of feeling like I am not enough but I am working hard to block those out. I am by no means perfect, and I would never claim to have all the answers, but I have learned a few things along my own journey to self-love and I hope they are things that will also help you:
No One Else Will Solve It: I have an extremely supportive husband, who tells me I am beautiful, who cheers on my success and supports me during my failures. I have family and friends that uplift me and believe in me. But you and I both know that when you are in that space of self-loathing you can’t always hear those voices. All the good in the world and one bad comment can make you crumble. The work to really get to self-love is up to you. It can take time and there will be moments that it will be two steps forward and one step back. But you are worth it, you are enough, and you have to find that in yourself. Remember that the work is important and that is never wrong to admit that you need outside help. Do not forget that loving yourself first will create healthier, more fulfilling relationships with everyone else in your life.
Surround Yourself With The Right People: No one can make you love yourself but being surrounded by the wrong people will definitely not help you. The wrong people will hinder your progress, the right ones will encourage your growth. The most beautiful thing in the world is to be around people who pick you up, who make you laugh, and are the voice of reason when you can’t be it for yourself. They can be your compass when you are lost in your own self-loathing, they can lead you back to the right path. And while ultimately walking down the path is only a decision you can make, the right people will hold your hand on the way to finding yourself again.
Stop the Comparisons: There is no truer statement than: ‘we compare our whole lives to other people’s highlight reels on social media’. There is also nothing more dangerous. Comparison will kill your ability to love who you are. If you are constantly reaching to be or look like someone else how will you ever love yourself? Take social media breaks when you need to. Focus on you and your life. Know that the highlight reel you see on social media is only part of someone’s story. They will never tell you who any really is or what they are struggling through. Be willing to put yourself first, put your phone down, and deal with the person in the mirror, no matter what that takes.
Know Who You Are: Last week I discussed ‘You Are’ statements. These are the statements that no matter what other shit is going on in your life you can hold on to and know to be true about yourself. These are important and if you don’t have one already you need to start your list right now. Self-love is really about knowing yourself, accepting yourself, and moving forward in your truth. Knowing who you are, even when other people might say things about you or make you feel bad at times, means that the words and actions of others will never define you. So start that list and start defining yourself, because if you aren’t clear on who you are you will let other people create that definition for you.
Forgive: What does forgiveness have to do with self-love? You have to forgive the wrongs that people have committed against you, FOR YOU. You aren’t going to forget them and no one is saying you should. But if you live in a perpetual state of feeling that you have been wronged that will eat away at you. You will be constantly waiting for apologies you will never receive and that can make you start to believe what someone else has said or done to you. You will act out in revenge to hurt someone else, instead of acting out of love to take care of yourself. Do not let what someone else has done to you determine how you feel about yourself. Whatever negativity you can release yourself from the better off you will be.
When You Feel Good, Embrace It: I get it! We live in a culture that can be way too selfie obsessed BUT we are actually a culture that is extremely insecure. So on those days or nights that you are feeling good don’t be afraid to show it. When you feel confident, capture it or write down in a journal how you feel, then go back to those when you need to. Allow yourself in those moments to create some self-love and hold on to it. Every step in the right direction is a good step.
What are some things that you have helped you grow in your ability to love yourself better?