Loving yourself isn’t easy. It’s a feat that requires strength, effort, and an enormous amount of self-acknowledgement. And not everyone is capable of it. The media has trained us how to act. Society has enforced an idealized perspective of body image onto an unsuspecting, moldable audience.
It’s not that we can’t think for ourselves. It’s just that acknowledging these other thoughts is tough – especially when they’re thrown in your face via magazines, news outlets, and photographs. None of this is your fault. But your reaction to it matters.
Your perspective of yourself is dependent upon your own sense of self-preservation.
If you choose to love yourself, the rest will fall into place.
Here are a few important things that happen when you start loving yourself.
1) You stop caring about how others perceive you
We all get self-conscious – it happens. It starts young. The media doesn’t help. And, to be honest, this feeling doesn’t necessarily ever go away. But it can be lessened.
When you’ve reached a point where you’ve accepted yourself, you’ll stop focusing on the thoughts of others. You won’t care as much about how others perceive you. You will wear clothes that make you feel good rather than wearing the items you think someone else would want you to wear.
You will commit to yourself. You will allow yourself the opportunity to grow. You will let yourself be the individual you are meant to be in any situation. You won’t let anyone shoot down your sense of purpose. This may take time – baby steps, if you will. And that’s okay. But just know that by admitting to yourself that you matter, you’re already a step in the right direction.
2) You feel at peace with yourself
When we lose sight of ourselves, we forget our worth. We focus on the things that have no real bearing on our mental, emotional, and physical health. We allow the toxicity of others to play far too great a role in our daily life. We let words from criticizers stop us from ever pursuing our dreams.
But after you start loving yourself, these issues become a thing of the past.
You start to realize that you do, in fact, matter. You begin to remember that your worth is completely worth recognizing. You start to search for and hone your own inner-peace. If you need to take up some form of meditation to get to this point, so be it. But eventually, when you have begun loving yourself for who you are, you will feel at peace with yourself. And this newfound inner-peace will have a cascading effect on the rest of your life. In turn, you will feel much more at ease in your relationships, daily life, and career.
That terrible feeling that you’ve done something wrong each day will be trumped by a calm sense of strength and acknowledgement. You will know that you are doing your best. You will find that most of the stress you carried was largely due to you. It was caused by the way you handled yourself; the manner you carried yourself in social settings, in the workplace, and in your personal life.
In the end, you’ll find that after committing yourself to this act of self-love, you will finally feel at peace. And, in turn, a large chunk of that stress will diminish.
3) You stop tearing yourself down
This isn’t easy for anyone. It’s not as simple as saying to yourself that you won’t treat yourself harshly. It’s not as simple as decreeing this day a day in which you won’t criticize yourself over a simple mistake.
As humans, we participate in the act of self-harm each day. We do it constantly. We wake up, realize we forgot to prep our lunch, and knock ourselves down a notch or two for making our morning routine more rushed. We make a mistake and get on ourselves for it – as if the world has ended because we forgot to cancel a dentist appointment in time or forgot to mail a friend’s birthday card last Monday.
But once you’ve honed that feeling of self-love, when you’ve finally hit that sweet spot where you begin loving yourself despite it all – that is when you will realize just how much you’ve truly been harming yourself. That is when you will stop tearing yourself down for the little things.
That is when you will realize that life is complex and you are human.
It’s okay to fall, make a mistake, or lose focus. It’s okay to forget about that fitness class you said you would start last week. It’s okay to start up a new side project and forget about it for a month because life got hectic.
Eventually, once you start loving yourself again, you will stop being your own worst critic. And that, friends, will only help you become more at peace with yourself.
4) You remember and return to the past moments that made you happy
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. It’s far too simple to let the negativity of the present situation ruin your day – or week, for that matter. But when you’ve started to accept yourself for who you are, when you’re at the point where you can admit that you do love yourself for everything and all that you’ve become, you will remember the moments that helped you get there. You will remember the past experiences, incidents, friends, and successes that made you happen.
Instead of sulking all night due to a slip up at work, you will relish in the many times you excelled at your job. You will focus on the many times you went above and beyond the task at hand. Rather than letting a toxic friend slow your progress, you’ll remember who and what makes you happy. You will remember the people you could always count on for constant motivation and inspiration. You will remember the folks who helped you remember that laughter is truly the best medicine.
When you’ve achieved self-love, when you’ve finally reached the point where loving yourself doesn’t feel like a daunting task, you’ll look back on the past with gratitude. You’ll remember the moments that made you happy. And those precious moments are what will lead you forward.
Are You Loving Yourself Well Enough?
We aren’t a perfect species – and that, friends, is just fine. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fall once in a while. What matters is how you proceed from here. What matters is the way in which you pick yourself back up again.
Eventually, you will reach a point where you will have to decide. You will have to choose between your own happiness and a fear of judgment. And this won’t be an easy choice. Why? Because we all fear judgment. We all worry that we will be perceived wrongfully by the right person. But once you’ve regained your sense of self-love, you will stop caring as much about what others think of you.
Eventually, you will find that inner-peace you so deserve. You won’t tear yourself down as much each day for minute, tiny mistakes. And in time, you will remember to stay focused on that feeling of personal happiness and love by focusing on the moments that made you happiest.
For your own sake, don’t let anyone tell you that loving yourself is a bad thing.
We all are coexisting in this beautiful world. For the most part, we focus on compassion and kindness. We strive to ensure happiness for others. But don’t forsake your own sense of self-love to please another’s delusional judgment. It’s not worth it to let anyone stand in your way of loving yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.