Each of us is a divine being of eternal potential. If we embraced this potential and nurtured it, we would “literally astound ourselves,” as said by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Too often, we are told that we should be someone different, and most of the time, we accept this criticism as true. We put on masks and try to fit in and be like everyone else, when the best thing to do is to shine our light, love who we are, and finally, BE who we are. I know personally that it is extremely difficult to embrace who you are, and I struggle with that on a day-to-day basis, as we all do.
For example, a few months ago, we were switching our room with mom’s office in our home. I was sorting through all my things, including some paintings from when I was younger, which I didn’t like anymore. I put them in the donation pile, explaining to my mother that they weren’t good enough for my room or to give to people I know, and she helped me realize that I had been telling myself that I wasn’t good enough, and I was sabotaging myself. It dawned on me that because I thought I couldn’t do art perfectly, I had decided not to do it all.
Self-love does not come in a package, you can’t buy it, and you most certainly cannot manufacture it. We tend to think that by doing a few things once, we can have this self-love forever, but it doesn’t work that way. Anything that you want to feel and manifest in your life takes time and effort. LOVE for yourself is a continual process. When you renew it every day, it becomes stronger.
There are 3 main components to loving yourself as you are:
1. Instead of comparing ourselves to other people, we can simply admire their qualities (and develop them, if we’d like to), without thinking that we should “be like them” or that “we aren’t good enough.” For example, let’s say that there is a person in your class who is a really good athlete, and you want to be that way. In this situation, you could tell him/her that you like the way they do sports and maybe even ask them for a few tips, without saying negative comments like, “I could never play soccer the way you do”. It is meant to be a compliment, but it actually brings you (and them) down.
2. Being a “people pleaser” one of the ultimate recipes for not being happy with yourself, because no matter what you do, there is always going to be someone who will disagree. I know someone who is always making decisions based off of what her “friends” would think, instead of what the people who care about her think. I can tell you for certain that she is never happy with herself, and it makes me sad to see her that way. So when you are faced with a decision, instead of thinking about what other people would think about you or if they would be pleased, think about how it would make you feel about yourself.
3. No one is perfect, and we all make bad choices. For example, let’s say you stole from a store and lied about it. You feel terrible about it, so you confess, apologize, and return the item to the store manager. You feel good about doing the right thing, but still feel badly about taking the item and lying. This is natural, because you’ll never be able to feel good about breaking the law of your country and of God. It is fine to feel regret and remorse over unwise decisions, but not to the extent that you form an unhealthy habit of beating yourself up about them. Remember, when it comes to making mistakes, the important thing is to learn from them and never do them again.
Another important way to love yourself is to start surrounding yourself with people who care about you and love you. If you happen to have a family member who does the complete opposite, act with love towards them, and avoid spending unnecessary time around them or other negative people who continually put you down.
At the end of the day, go in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Say your own name to catch your attention. Look straight in to your eyes, and say, “Good job, today. I admire the way you _____________ and ____________.” (insert accomplishments or good things you did that day.) “I’m really proud of you for ___________ and ___________, and I want to let you know that I really, really, love you.”
Do this exercise for 30 days, being genuine and real, and please tell me what you think in the comments below.
An important resolution YOU can make today is to act with love towards yourself. Buddha’s words ring true to me: “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” As we start loving ourselves, we can love others more fully, and build meaningful relationships other people and with ourselves.
To end, the best way to love yourself is to shine your own light. To quote the incredible Marianne Williamson: “You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I invite you to start paying more attention to who you really are and start showing your beautiful, unique, self to everyone!
What will you do week to show your true self? Please tell me in the comments below!!!Be an example!