Hello everybody! I’m really excited to kick-off this series, it’s been something that I’ve been planning since the summer but I haven’t gotten around to it. There is no better time to start this series.
Today I’m going to talk about self-love, what it means and how to accomplish it. For me, it took me many years to figure out how to love myself, and it took courage, trials, and pain to find it.
What is self-love? This is what the dictionary/google definition is:
- regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic). (google).
Sara Ryan’s definition of self-love is when you realize that you are unique, and you chose to own that uniqueness. If we were all the same, there were be no such thing as individuality.
Sometimes we believe that we need to be just like someone else. This is either because we think we’ll be happy if we have the same looks as somebody else, the same smarts as somebody else, or even the same life as somebody else. But this is wrong, because if you’re continuously trying to be somebody else, you’re blind to your own potential. You’ll keep searching for ways to be someone else and won’t feel the same kind of joy you would feel if you would just be your own person, which may leave you feeling disappointed in yourself, and in more severe cases you may begin to feel depressed, alone, or isolated.
I’ll fill you in on a little story that helped me realize there is nothing more dangerous than trying to be somebody else.
When I was in 10th grade, I tried to hard to be like somebody who I thought I needed to be like. This was because she was dating the first boy I dated, so I felt that I needed to measure up to her. She was a soccer player, and had a really good style. She also had a very pretty smile, and other characteristics I felt that I did not have. I began to give up areas in my life that I could be like her. I was never into sports in my youth, so I felt that my first step into becoming any kind of athlete was to train myself to run. I would run every other day on the treadmill in my home. I began to feel this high, I was feeling good, losing weight, and becoming more and more like the girl who I thought I should be. It got to the point where I was a size 0 as opposed to a size 6 in a matter of 3 months. I was very unhealthy, because my food intake was very low, and my heart rate was very slow. I was getting closer and closer to dying without realizing how much I was putting my own life at risk to be like somebody else. Not only did I focus on the weight I was, but I coloured my hair the same colour as hers, I based a lot of my thoughts, interests, friends, on hers. I knew I wasn’t happy, I had this inner desire to be me, but I was failing to do that because I was afraid of myself.
It took me 3 years of trials, pain, and confusion to realize that being myself is nothing to be afraid of. Because of this, I was able to realize that I should be loving myself everyday. I have days still where I think I should be like someone else, and this may even be someone I’ve never met, but because of society’s expectations, I often confuse reality with what I think society expects of me.
How can you practice self-love?
Start by realizing what your inner desires are. Can you identify what truly makes you happy? If you can, then make goals for yourself that relate to what you love doing. For me, I’ve always had the desire to sing. When I was in the depths of my eating disorder, I was too caught up in food/exercise to realize that I was neglecting my love for art and music. If you can’t figure out what you love doing, experiment. See what works for you, and what doesn’t, and be true to yourself about it too. Don’t convince yourself you like/dislike something, let it speak to you!
When you wake up in the morning, write down 5 things you love about yourself. These can be characteristics that are on the inside, or the outside. I believe that we should be proud of what’s on both sides, so write down whatever it is you love about yourself.
Have the desire to be a better version of yourself everyday. Have dreams, write them down. Have goals, write them down. Have desires, write them down. By having these goals, dreams, and desires, you are practicing self-love, because you’re putting your faith in yourself that you’ll do something great.
That’s all for today guys! I hope this helps you!<3
Until next time,