Self-Love: Why Can't We Accept Ourselves?
Do you love yourself? Not in an arrogant, I-am-the-greatest-person-that-ever-lived kind of way, but in a true, honest and accepting way? The reality is that most of us don't, and instead we tend to self-loathe, to pick on all the bits we don't like and never focus on the bits we do. Why can't we seem to accept ourselves for who we are?
We always want to be everything that we are not, instead of loving all the things we are. We always want to change the things that we will never be able to. We have an insatiable desire to be exactly what we are not. We love our friends for exactly who they are, we accept them despite their flaws, yet to accept ourselves in the same way seems utterly impossible, inhuman, arrogant even. It's deeply ingrained within our DNA to be critical, to be negative, to deny ourselves the love we deserve. Yet it's this very self-love that requires the most courage of all and which finally sets us free.
Self-love is choosing to see what your best friends see in you, to see all of the good, to be grateful and to accept yourself unconditionally. The practice of self-love is different for everyone. Some like to repeat affirmations, such as "I am beautiful", "I am capable of achieving my dreams" or "I accept/love myself unconditionally right now." When you repeat these affirmations, even if you don't believe them initially, your subconscious hears them and can absorb them. Other people practice gratitude, yoga, meditation or exercise which are all forms of self-love. Self-love might be nourishing your body with home cooked, organic, healthy meals, it might be taking a day all for yourself, to do what you like or scheduling regular treats for yourself, such as a massage. Self-love is giving yourself a break and forgiving yourself for your own mistakes. Self-love is learning from these mistakes. Self-love comes in a million different forms, but I cannot stress its importance enough.
So basically what I am saying is you should love yourself, just do it. It might not be easy, it might take some time, but it will definitely be worth it. And have I mastered self-love? No, of course not. It is a constant act, every day. For me, self-love is affirmations, about my body, about my personality, about my fears and my hopes and dreams. It is meditating for just a few minutes and enjoying simple things like a deliciously nourishing soup or life-giving green juice, or taking a bath a few times a week, or getting a massage, or just giving myself a break when I am stressed and all I need to do is rest. Self-love is being my own best friend, and I pride myself on being a good friend.
How do you practice self-love? How has self-love changed your life?
Keep loving yourself, you are amazing,