I am close to fifty years old, and I have spent the majority of my life loathing myself. In my mind I wasn’t skinny enough, smart enough, or pretty enough and I hated the person staring back at myself in the mirror. I did not think I deserved love or any positive attention, because I just wasn’t enough of anything. This affected my life on a daily basis. I tried hiding from the world instead of living it. Or I would take drastic measures to look like the girls in my “Teen Magazine”.
It probably didn’t help that the majority of my relationships with men were based on looks, and not much else. I remember walking through the mall with my high school boyfriend and we walked past this pretty girl and he said, “Now, if you had an ass like that I would marry you”. And after hours in the gym getting that perfect body, I found out that my boyfriend of five years had been cheating on me.
I have always had very low self esteem and it has affected every area of my life. All the opportunities I missed, the way I allowed myself to be treated by others, was all because of my thoughts telling me that I wasn’t good enough. That is part of the reason that I started my blog. I realize that I have modeled self hatred in front of my children and now hear them repeating horrible things about themselves that just aren’t true. I hear my son saying he is fat all of the time, which he is not. I hear my beautiful daughter calling herself ugly and it breaks my heart.
I am going to share with you the tools I am using in order to help me show up in this world as the best version of myself. I started reading blogs by Holly Lo and have learned a great deal in such a short period of time.
Take Away Conditions
What do I mean when I say conditions? I mean don’t add anything after “I love myself.”
Instead of saying, “I’ll love myself when…”, “I would love myself more if…”, or “I love myself but…”, just say “I love myself” because that’s really all you need.
- You don’t need anyone else’s approval.
- You don’t need to lose 10 pounds first.
- You don’t need to justify yourself to anyone.
So it’s not choosing one or the other. It’s just choosing yourself. You love yourself in the past and who you’ll be in the future, but the important thing is that you love and create space for yourself right now. In this moment.
“You can love who you are when you working towards on who you are becoming“
The next time you find yourself staying, “I’ll love myself when I lose 10 pounds”. Stop. Remember you are every bit worth loving right now, in this moment.
I keep this quote on my mirror and have begun showing myself the kindness and compassion that I so easily show those I love. I deserve to love myself that much….unconditionally. I start my days by showing up for myself and loving the woman in the mirror, no ifs or when, but just as I am.
Watch Your Language and The Things You Say About Yourself and Other People
“Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”?Ghandi
Watch your words and what you say to yourself, because that will become your destiny. Your words become your future and eventually your reality.
I spent decades hating myself and doubting myself. If you are constantly saying, “I hate myself, I hate myself, I hate myself” You are going to end up hating every part of yourself. In addition, you believe that everyone else hates parts of you too.
Also, be mindful of what you said about others as well. Because when we sspeak in a judgmental or negative way about others, we’re really reflecting and showing how we truly feel about ourselves and the world.
Focus on What You Do Love About Yourself
This can be very challenging, I know it was for me.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about yourself, focus on the things you do love about yourself.
On days when I focus on the parts I don’t like about myself, I don’t feel great which impacts all other areas of my life which raises the question: “What do you gain out of beating yourself up?” (Answer: More reasons to hate yourself. Also probably a bit of shame and guilt.)
But when I start to focus on things I DO love about myself like my smile, my personality, empathy, the ability to connect on a deeper level with people, etc., I feel good.
And when you feel good about loving parts of yourself?
You start loving the other parts of yourself, too.
Try writing down a list of things you love about yourself, because whatever you spend your time focusing on will become your reality. And add to this list daily. It wont be easy and may stare at the blank sheet of paper for a long time, but don’t give up…it will come.
Choose Yourself on a Daily Basis
When you spend so many years hating yourself, self-love does not happen overnight.
Self-love is choosing yourself on a daily basis, even when it’s hard. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when it feels easier to hate yourself. Even when other people give you a hard time.
It’s choosing yourself over everything else. Again and again
Simply put, it’s putting yourself first. And putting yourself first might not come naturally to you… it might even feel weird, but if you do it enough times, it will be your new normal.
Self love is you not listening to other people’s opinion or ideas about how you should love yourself. You set the standards on how you are going to love yourself.
It’s putting your own happiness, sanity, and love first. You’re basically saying to yourself, “I am worthy. I am loved.”, which we all are.
There will be a lot of emotions and feelings that will surface. Doubt, shame, worry, hope, inspiration, etc. Feel them and then let the ones that are not serving to go. Allow yourself the space to forgive, heal, and love again.
It’s loving yourself as you are right now even if it goes against society’s standards.
And for the times that will come when you’re wondering why you’re not “there” yet and you’re questioning yourself whether all this inner deep work is even worth it, know that it is. And you will get there, but remember that it doesn’t happen overnight and that there’s nothing wrong with you.
This isn’t a race or a competition, so embrace where you are in your own journey.
Please leave a comment below on which of these you are going to start more of to love yourself more!
I believe that it is possible to have a healthy, amazing relationship with yourself!