Love yourself for who you are. Accept yourself. Be yourself.
Ah, the love is everywhere. Positivity vibrates as feel good magazines, sappy romantic comedies, and over bearing (but still sweet) parents try to instill this novel idea that is supposed to solve all of your problems: Love yourself. (And heck, we say so, too.)
While I’d like to admit I’m a fan of the phrase, the reality is there are times it doesn’t apply, and more importantly, should be ignored. Sometimes, ‘loving yourself’ can be irrelevant or misused, leaving some to question where to draw the line. How much power does the phrase really have, and when does it not apply?
3 Things Love Yourself Does NOT Mean
Love Who You Are, so Never Improve
Why put in unnecessary blood and sweat if I love myself the way I am? All of this feel good, love yourself stuff has the tendency to leave many of us at a standstill: once we accept who we are, what’s the point of trying to improve? It’s a funny concept, seeing as how we’re not all over achieving perfectionists. So where do you draw the line?
I’m a firm believer in the idea that we’re all on a path of self-discovery. Without such a path, we’d be defined by our day jobs, shitty ex boyfriends and questionable teenage moments of experimentation. Every day we live brings us to tomorrow and we are expected to face the new day with more wisdom than the day before. How the hell do you do that if you just… stand still and never improve?
You owe it to yourself to give your life meaning. Challenge yourself – and do so because you love yourself enough to know you deserve to be and feel the best.
Love Who You Are, You’re Not Flawed
When I wrote about the asshole that lives inside your head, I mentioned there are times to ignore the negative voice and more often, embrace it. Loving yourself doesn’t mean fall into the delusion of perfection; part of being a human being is acknowledging your imperfections and (like #1 states) fixing and improving them.
There will be ugly times in your life that you will have to admit making horrible mistakes and doing terrible things. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you ignore all that, it means you embrace it and accept yourself, anyway.
Everyone Else Loves You, Too
This is for those who get confidence and arrogance mixed up; for the women out there who are so proud of who they are, they demand others to be, too. When you truly love yourself, you don’t care whether others do too. The irony is, it is only when you genuinely embrace yourself that others fall victim to your charm – you just have to be doing it for you.
Don’t expect others to bow down to your sarcastic wit, algebra obsession, or quirky gap between your teeth.
What Loving Yourself DOES Mean
It means that through sickness and in health; for richer or poorer; through the beautiful and the ugly; you will always be there for you. It means that when you make a mistake, you forgive yourself. When you notice you’ve gained unhealthy weight and are leading a shitty lifestyle, you change it because your body doesn’t deserve the beating and it should be treated like the temple that it is. Loving yourself means putting yourself first (most of the time).
Loving yourself means you are true to who you are, what you want, and what you need (even when it’s a brutally honest pep talk, a gym membership, or a good old fashioned slap in the face).
What does loving yourself mean to you?
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