To love yourself sounds super clichéd, easier being said than done. But the truth is that if we do not love ourselves, our lives will not be fulfilled and happiness will always slip away from us. That’s why it’s worth putting a little more effort and fixing this relationship with ourselves, which, I promise you, is the most important relationship in our life.
It’s a bit like a relationship with a partner. If you focus on his negatives for a long time and keep looking for his flaws, the chance of being happy together gets lower. But if instead, you start paying more attention to the pros, you start to appreciate the good qualities and become grateful for them, your love for this person becomes stronger. Thus, the flaws are not that important, because love is here. On the contrary, the small flaws make him so unique and they show you that this is your soulmate.
It’s the same in the relationship with ourselves. If I keep thinking about what I’m not good at and what I don’t like in myself, I can hardly expect happiness. And I know that without my effort, nothing will happen, so little by little I need to find the qualities in myself that make me worth loving myself.
Here are the things I’m working on so far:
1. I learned to be grateful to myself.
To be grateful to my body and to me as a person. I learned to appreciate what I have, what I am. Standing in front of the mirror every day, I discover all the things I love in myself. I love that I am patient. I love being a good friend, that I’m caring. I consider myself a good person. And countless others. Even things related to my body. I love my legs, thanks to them I can walk and travel the world. I am grateful to be a healthy person, I have built relationships with friends, relatives, and a man. These are wonderful things that only prove that I have virtues that deserve my love. Just because I don’t look like coming from a magazine cover doesn’t mean I’m not good enough. I am enough.
I am enough for myself and for everyone around me. If I change the way I look, I won’t be a different person. Being slimmer will not make me better, more compassionate, or more caring. I will not find more friends, if I start wearing a smaller size, nor will my career become glamorous and amazing if my waist is narrower. It will always be me, the same person, and if there is something I want to improve in myself to become a better person – great. It just makes me even more self-sufficient.
2. I learned to take care of myself and my body.
Our body is our home on this planet, thanks to it we are here physically. We owe all our senses to it – we see, hear, smell, touch, taste. And these are all wonderful things that we often take for granted. We can move, travel, hug our loved ones. To do all those things that make our soul smile. That is why our body deserves to be loved. I started listening to my body, giving it the food it needed, the exercises it needed, sleep, water, calmness, I took care of my metabolism. And when I rearranged my priorities and put my body care first, I started to bear the fruits. Health is the most important thing. When we are healthy, the body is in harmony with the soul and everything falls into place. And it is much easier to be happy now and to love yourself.
3. I take care not only of my body but also of my mind and soul.
The food for the soul are the positive emotions and beautiful moments. Pure thoughts and self-love give peace. And meditation is the exercise that helps me reach the balance and the harmony of my soul, mind, and body.
4. I stopped comparing myself to others.
If we think about it, this game is lost before we even start it. There will always be someone who has a fitter body, is more athletic or more beautiful. This is not because of who we are, but because those are the rules of the game in our head. And because that’s what we’re searching for. In reality, if we accept ourselves as we are, it does not matter what others are. People are unique, everyone has their own identity and uniqueness. And there is no place for comparison. You are self-sufficient and you should learn to love yourself. I appreciate the beauty of the people around me, I get inspired sometimes, but without comparing myself to anybody.
5. I try not to care about what other people would say about me.
I admit that it is quite difficult for me not to think about it. But when I find myself doing it, I remind myself to stop. When I am sure that I am doing the right thing, and when I live my life following my own principles and established norms, it doesn’t matter what other people think. My conscience is clear. And every thought about who would judge me is actually my thought, ie. I am the one judging. That is where the next point comes.
6. I get to know myself better and I learn not to be critical to myself.
I am human, I make mistakes. If something is not perfect – okay. It’s okay to have a bad day and to be sad. It’s okay to make a promise about something, but to change my mind. It’s okay to have lazy days and do nothing. It is normal to feel different emotions. And when I realize that it’s just myself, I stop criticizing and I give myself what I need now, without judging, without blaming, without bad feelings. Because to love yourself means to also love the things that are not perfect.
7. I learned how to be happy.
Most people are not happy with what they have. The problem is that this state is not temporary and does not change when you achieve something more. It’s quite the opposite, you set a new goal and you start wanting even more.
Yesterday I listened to an audiobook about money and how to be happy with what we have. The author gave an example of how most people set themselves the goal of earning a higher income and believe that this is the thing that would make them happy. However, when they achieve their goal and increase their income, they naturally begin to have a higher standard of living, to buy more expensive things, to go to more expensive restaurants, and accordingly, their income becomes insufficient again. They can always do and have more. But that way never comes a moment when they will be truly happy with what they have.
I believe this is also the case in many other aspects of life. One of them is our body image and appearance. Even when I had some success with my diet and the scale showed a smaller number, my joy did not last long because it was never enough. There was always more to be desired. In fact, the idea that at some point it will show a number that will completely satisfy me was an absolute delusion. Because happiness is a state of mind now. You have to love yourself, without waiting for something to happen. The only way to enjoy life is to be able to enjoy the moment. Now. With what you have.