I thought ‘loving myself’ aka self-love, is only about treating yourself quite often, going to spa and nail salon, getting ready in pretty dresses, going out for some me-time, or staying home for some quiet “me” moments, etc. But in these last 3-4 months I have discovered the true meaning of “I love me.” I have uncovered some real insights on, “why loving yourself is so essential in life, and how to do it?”
For most of my years of growing up, I believed what my brain told me about not-being smart, beautiful, intelligent, and wise. I grew up with this belief that I am the most unwanted kid in the block, because I’m different. I lack so many qualities that a kid must possess. People don’t notice me because I am unwanted and ugly and not-very-smart.
I believed every voice that said “I am not beautiful, I am not smart, I am not intelligent, I am not this, I am not that,” from the darkest corners of my subconscious mind. I have always felt worthless; not because others made me feel that way, but mostly because I never believed in the “magic” I possessed. I never loved myself enough until Jan 2016, when I created this positive space on the internet called, ‘The Positive Window’, and in these past 3 months, I was able to discover the “real me.”
I had to reflect on myself to see the real treasures I was born with. We are so wired to believe all the bad about ourselves, and this is how we create and shape our character around these negative self-beliefs. Therefore it is very important to understand where this self-hatred is coming from?
Self-love can be nurtured and developed only by understanding the reasons, why you don’t like yourself? What do you want to change and why, and by supervising your old thinking habits. The moment we decide to acknowledge, accept and develop self-love, we will heal from self-hatred and criticisms, that we grew up with. It’s time to release them and evolve with self-love and self-acceptance, it’s time to forgive and move on.
So what to do when you can’t seem to love yourself?
What to do when you fail, or mess up, and make mistakes after mistakes either because you don’t know or because you keep making wrong choices over and over again? Try to replace “love with acceptance.” Accept what is, accept the way you are born, accept the way you have been, accept the way your past has been, accept your present situation, accept your mistakes, your failures, your imperfections, and yourself- every bit of you.
There’s no way that self-love will happen overnight. It’s a constant gradual process of accepting one thing [about yourself] at a time. Keep reminding yourself about switching places with feeling insecure, inadequate, and shameful to feeling enough.
So how to love yourself through every challenges you go through in life? One simple secret that we often overlook, or fail to understand is, “by making peace with all kinds of rejections, criticisms, hate comments, anything that has made you believe you are inadequate and raised the vibrations of your self-criticism and self-hatred.” Just remember, “you’re absolutely perfect just the way you are.” We all have a mix of good and bad qualities. We all do. But that does NOT make you less worthy than you are.
In order to let go those assumptions and to quiet your inner critic voice, practice looking at yourself everyday from a space of acceptance and commitment towards being you, unapologetically you. It may be hard to break deeply engrained habits, especially when they stem from past experiences and events, but self-love can bring this change with a new perspective of, ‘why self-love is the answer to all the broken scattered pieces of expectations and bitterness towards one own self.
“Sometimes the worst things that happen in our lives put us on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” ~Unknown
You don’t need to sacrifice who you are in the present moment to fulfill an idea of who you should be. Everything you need to be, you already are. Do you know what unconditional self-love looks like? It is the love that we have for ourself. It is the relationship of how we speak with ourselves, how we treat ourselves, being kind encouraging to ourselves, and being there always for our own selves, even in the hardest and darkest times.
I hope this article helps you to find your love towards yourself, and from here onwards you lead your days with more light, acceptance, forgiveness, self-worthiness, and grace. I encourage you to join me on this journey of self-love, and we can together find ways to silence self-criticism.