If you can’t have a self-love fest once in awhile, how can you expect anyone else to? Take time (every. single. day.) to explore ways to love yourself.
Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. —Unknown
If there is one platitude that is incessantly pounded on us, it is the firm yet gentle reminder that we should love ourselves first and foremost. At many points in our lives—whether we are going through the hardest of breakups, losing the most intimate of friends or grieving over people who never learned how to value us—it all boils to one staple yet solid adage: Love yourself first.
Whenever we are experiencing some adversities relationship-wise in our lives, we are told to put ourselves first, disregard what others may think, and value ourselves. However, this advice would be largely inadequate when we do not even know where to start—you would have thought that by now, after persistently hearing this sagely counsel, we would have a concrete idea of how we could love ourselves…. or, for those who already have, how to love ourselves better. Unfortunately, many times we have failed in our endeavors in doing just that.
How ironic is it that we can find so many ways to love others, but when it comes to loving ourselves, we glaringly fall short?
The reality is, we can never foster true feelings for another person if we have not learned to truly love ourselves, as cliché as that may sound. Because self-love is akin to self-discovery; you figure yourself out by having compassion for yourself—in this way, you can genuinely appreciate the people around you and do considerate deeds for others.
Loving yourself is also about self-acceptance and being happy with who you are—in essence, making you an individual resonating with positive energy and truly capable of loving someone else. Happiness comes from within; if you are not happy with yourself, you are fooling yourself thinking you can find that sort of happiness in others. So in the small ways below, learn to value the person who has been sticking with you through the good and bad times: you.
1.) Accept that you are not perfect.
People come in flawed packages. We are all a little bit damaged in our own way. We may have past hurts, emotional pain, and shortcomings, but these are what make us unique, beautiful, and truly ourselves.
Learn to accept that this comes with the whole package; it comes with who you are. Others may have picked you apart for these inadequacies, but you should never view them as such; instead, look at them as opportunities to be better. When it comes to ourselves, we are our own harshest critic; yet, that shouldn’t deter you from learning to love yourself—flaws and all. Focus on the positive qualities you have, your strengths and abilities. Remember, your faults in no way define you.
2.) Spend some time alone.
In this vein, learn to become your own friend. Hang out with yourself and be comfortable with who you are; this is the most important aspect when it comes to radical self-love.
Disconnect from the world, close your laptop, turn off your phone, and spend some time with you. After years of spending time in the company of people, being by yourself may seem daunting, awkward, even uncomfortable at first, but ease into it and you may find that you like it—a lot. When you have found that you like your own company, you would find that you need not depend on another person to fill a void. Instead, you can surround yourself with people when you choose to.
3.) Do not make comparisons.
It is an unfortunate quirk of human nature to always have a peering eye over our neighbors, comparing our successes or failures to their own. However, this may be what is keeping us from being truly happy.
Perpetually comparing your life to your neighbor’s or your friends will only bring you a lifetime of unease and bitterness. Instead, why not appreciate the things you already have? Your neighbor may possess immeasurable wealth, but consider that you are wealthy in other ways—having a loving family, a wonderful network of friends, a happy home, your health. Appreciate what you have, celebrate little successes and triumphs instead of turning them into yardsticks as to how you are doing against everyone else.
4.) Appreciate your life.
We are often told we’re in control of our own lives and our destiny; however, no matter how much we want to steer the course of our lives, there are things that we inevitably cannot control. There are things in our lives and aspects of our relationships that we cannot change, no matter how hard we try. Instead, why not focus on the things that are going great?
If you train yourself to appreciate the little things and to embrace what you are grateful for, your love for yourself will gradually increase.
5.) Detach yourself from toxic people.
Understand that as much as some of us want to keep all of our friends, there are some of them who can no longer help us grow and mature. They may even be the reason we are stunting our growth and maturity.
One reason why you may have failed to love yourself is you’ve surrounded yourself with toxic people. These are people who relentlessly spread negative energy—and when exposed to this kind of energy for too long, you may start believing in and absorbing this negativity, too. This is not an environment that’s conducive to self love. Remember that toxic people do not have a place in your life. If you truly want to love yourself, you should keep away from such people.
Loving ourselves is pivotal for every single one of us, yet it remains to be one of those pieces of advice that are so easy to say, yet so hard to do. Little by little and every single day, find new ways to love yourself, whether appreciating the small things in life, accepting who you are, or understanding that you can never please everyone. These small realizations will help you get to the bigger picture of loving yourself and, in turn, loving yourself will guarantee you a happier existence. After all, if you can’t learn to love yourself, how do you expect anyone else to do so?
About the Author
Bea Bianca is a twenty something music enthusiast and currently working at Love Radio. She draws inspiration for her writing in listening to romance music, reading books on love, and cheesy quotes. She routinely writes romance articles detailing all kinds of romantic relationships.