Too many people these days are oblivious to their value and their light. Too many people these days are comparing themselves to others, are questioning what they have to offer, and are on a never-ending quest to change themselves out of pure non-acceptance for who they are. They are conscious of eating the right foods and getting regular exercise in order fit into society’s definition of ‘beautiful’. They plan their meals and obsess over the trendy new diets and workout routines; and they keep their eyes fixed to the scale in hopes that they’ll see their hard work pay off in the form of dropped figures. A don’t get me wrong – keeping fit and healthy, working out and eating clean is a good thing. But not when it’s done out of hate for one’s body. Too many women (and men) suffer heavily with body issues. They beat themselves up for looking a certain way, or for not looking like someone else – and quickly the obsession starts to take over. Everything they are as a package; inside and out, is completely overshadowed by their desire to look different and be ‘better’. They scroll through social media and compare themselves and their lives with those who are only choosing the best pictures to post but are oblivious to the fact because only one thing matters – being different and being better. This self-hate issue doesn’t just alter one’s views on their bodies but transcends to many other corners of one’s life. Self-hate is like a virus – it spreads, until one is left feeling empty, alone, confused and filled with darkness.
Until a real change is made – a change that has nothing to do with outside appearance and acknowledgement, but rather a change that transforms their lives and souls from a dark, gloomy and cold place, to a place of warmth and light – which no external circumstance can shake. The change is called self-love; which encompasses acceptance, endurance, grace and of course, love. Self-love is a practice, it’s a choice and it’s something that needs to be worked on a day-to-day basis. It’s not just about buying something new, or reading an inspirational book that enlightens you, it’s about flicking a switch within and practicing all that works for the greater good of yourself and others.
Be good to others
Self-love lies in your actions. When you are good to others, you are inadvertently being good to yourself. When you show others love, empathy and respect, you are showing yourself all those things. That’s why hurt people, hurt people. That’s why those that are nasty, jealous and sour, are unhappy with themselves – because they’ve spent too much time giving out bad, which has reflected back onto them – and they start to feel it and become it. Be good to others and you will feel good about yourself and begin to cultivate self-love and acceptance.
Discover your values and live in alignment with them
Our values make us who we are. If we had no values we wouldn’t have anything to believe in and we’d end up falling for everything, because we’d have nothing to stand for. Your values guide you and help you to identify what it is you care for, so it’s important that you know them. Write down what matters to you – you may value honesty, integrity and family; for example, it doesn’t matter what your values are, there is no right or wrong as this is personal to each person.
Spend time alone
Most people don’t like spending time alone, but it’s imperative that one learns how to enjoy their own company. This gives one space to dig deep and get to know themselves on a personal, deeper level. Self-love removes the fear you have of what you may find within, and instead allows you to accept whatever it is you may find. Being alone helps one to reconnect and re-establish that tarnished relationship with themselves – and heal that reality. Take a road trip, go overseas or just simply take a few minutes a day to just sit alone and rejuvenate.
Writing is one of the most therapeutic things you can do – especially when you write down all that is going on in your mind, which you need to release and make sense of. Writing allows one to get to the core of what they’re feeling, instead of distracting themselves so that they don’t have to deal with it. Self-love is about caring about what you think and taking time to listen to that voice.
We have all made mistakes – and mistakes are okay! Mistakes are not big, bad, ugly things; they teach us a lot. Some of the greatest lessons come from making ‘mistakes’. So, forgive yourself for your past mistakes, and forgive yourself for the mistakes you are still yet to make. There’s no perfect way to go about this thing called life – we can only do our best.
Learn to say no
Learn to say no to things, people, or situations that make you feel bad, or tarnish your self-worth or are unsupportive of your growth- and don’t be ashamed. If there are toxic people that make you feel sad and drained whenever you are with them – let them go. The same goes for situations – remove yourself from any situation that you don’t feel is good for you and your wellbeing. It’s as simple as learning the word no, and putting yourself first.