The truth is, learning to love yourself isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. If self-love was as simple as declaring, “Hey, I woke up this morning and decided to love myself,” then the world would be a much happier place. But it’s not that easy and unfortunately, some of us never learn to fully embrace who we are.
I was recently speaking to a friend who preaches a lot about the importance of self-love. The way she tries to spread this positive message is inspiring, so I asked her how she started to love herself. She said that for a long time she wasn’t happy with who she was. This self-hatred was formed through years of bullying and abuse. She thought that she would never reach a point where she could honestly say that she loved herself, but here she is, trying to motivate others to do the same.
So, how did she get to where she is now? It started with self-care. It’s so easy to overlook the importance of self-care, but trust me, it’s a lot more than a bubble bath and a glass of wine. It’s about taking care of your mind and body. Like I mentioned before, this isn’t something that happens over night, which is why you should celebrate every small victory.
I’ve found that rewarding yourself for completing tasks or challenges is a good way to practice self-love. It also gives you the motivation that you need. Knowing that there’s something good just around the corner makes it all seem worth it.
However, I’ve read a ton of articles on the topic of self-love and I have to disagree with the message that some of them try to communicate. One phrase that I’ve heard far too many times is, “if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else.” Let me tell you, it’s not true. Since when does not loving yourself stop you from loving others? It doesn’t. I can love and appreciate and accept other people a lot easier than I would myself. And I know that’s the same for many people. We find so many faults and flaws in ourselves but we’re willing to overlook them in someone we love. Maybe it’s because we set too high expectations of ourselves; we feel a pressure to act and look a certain way.
We are our biggest critics and that’s why self-love is a difficult journey. We compare our lives to other people who seem happier, richer, luckier, without knowing their hidden struggles. We find things to dislike about ourselves because it’s easier than accepting who we are. But we shouldn’t use this as a source of negativity – we should use this as motivation to be the best version of ourselves.
So how do you love yourself? Well, maybe you should start with liking yourself first. Make a list of goals. Start a new hobby. Get off social media. Plan a holiday. Treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for ages. Don’t question why you’re doing it – it if makes you happy, do it.