Understanding What It Means to Love Yourself
It's easy to claim you love a certain type of food, but why is it so hard for you to love yourself?
The everyday slights, indignities, put downs and insults that people of colour, women, LGBT populations or those who are marginalized experiences in their day-to-day interactions with people.
First of all, what does it mean to self love? Self love means to “accept yourself as you are and to come to terms with those aspects of yourself that you cannot change”.
However, this does not mean that you should be egoistic, self-conceited or claim the idea that you are better than anyone else; it simply means that you, as a fellow human being, should understand that you are worthy of being here right now and that all your strengths and weaknesses make you the wonderful person that you are.
I think it’s fair to say that your weaknesses are nothing to be ashamed of because everybody has them. Everybody has unchangeable aspects of themselves they don’t like, but don’t realise that getting rid of those certain aspects in order to feel better means that you are giving into the superficial idea of “perfection”.
We are living in the era where social media is the most prominent that it has ever been which means we come into contact with all sorts of people: the social media influencers, the politicians, the athletes, the businessman; the list is exhaustive! We may not know it, but we do compare ourselves to them and wonder why we didn’t turn out “perfect” like the all the beautiful Vogue supermodels or the NBA athletes.
You see it all over Instagram: young men and women shaming others because they don’t fit society’s idea of “beautiful”. But people don’t tend to publicly shame themselves, only in their private lives: whenever they pass a mirror and catch a glimpse of themselves, or if they meet someone who they consider beautiful by society’s standards, or even if they’re just watching a movie and the main protagonist is pleasing to look at.
Everybody judges themselves and gets upset because they didn’t turn out how they think they should have done. It’s normal.
But it’s destructive!
Beauty is subjective. People see beauty in different things. I see beauty in my day to day life: little things like how the sky changes colour when the sun sets or noise the wind makes when it blows past my window at night.
However, someone else might think that beauty is the way the roads all loop together or how it’s the sight of other people. The point being, you should not compare yourselves to other people because you yourself are beautiful in your own way, in a way that nobody else can compare or imitate.
But there’s no point in me telling you that. You need to believe it yourself.
Take a look back at the beginning of the year and compare yourself to where you are now. Are you the same person? If your first instinct is to say “yeah I’m the same person” because you have the same body, the same face, the same life, then you’re wrong.
“Beauty doesn’t have to be about anything. What’s a vase about? What’s a sunset or a flower about? What, for that matter, is Mozart’s Twenty-third Piano Concerto about?”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
Look at all the doors you’ve walked through, all the challenges you’ve faced. Nobody can own those accomplishments but you! All these doors have led you to where you are now, and I’m sure that these doors have opened up to opportunities, life lessons, hardships but also rewards. All of these being more reasons to love yourself.
“Life is so subtle sometimes that you barely notice yourself walking through the doors you once prayed would open.” — unknown
In simpler words, who you are as a person has led you to the path you are on now. All the people you’ve met, experiences you’ve had and more; all because of you, and the characteristics you hate.
Self love is not narcissistic. It is not selfish. It is not egotistical. Self love is self acceptance and is the most fulfilling gift you can give yourself.