Love, as defined by Merriam Webster, is a "strong affection for another arising out of kinship, sexual desire, or admiration." The connection to kinship is the love for your family, those who are attached to you through blood-lines, last names, and marriage. Sexual desire is typically associated with individuals who you find romantic attractions with. Admiration, at its finest, is what causes friendship, the inner circle that allows for most social interaction. All are important to a happy life. However, have we forgotten about self-love, the most essential part of our being?
Self-love is defined as the regard for one's own well-being and happiness. In simpler terms, the full acceptance of yourself in the same acceptance you give to individuals of whom you love. Many of us have forgotten its importance and how it impacts us on a daily basis. Truly loving yourself positively effects your mental, physical, and emotional health. It makes you more confident and allows you to feel more free in your own skin.
In order to fully love yourself and who you are, you must accept every aspect of yourself, regardless of what others think. You are who you are and nobody can take that away from you. Without every part of your personality and appearance, who are you? You aren't who you were meant to be. Don't hide "you." Don't change "you." For any person. For any reason. Stay true to who you know you were meant to be.
You are a complete and beautiful being that was created to be a perfect you. You are unique and special in all of your own ways. You deserve to be surrounded by people that accept you and give you all the love they have to give.
I remember a time when I didn't believe any part of what has been said above. I was afraid to let loose and show my true colors in light of possible judgment and hatred. I didn't appreciate who I was. To me, what made me, "me" wasn't anywhere near good enough.
And then I was surrounded by exactly the right people, in exactly the right environment.
I am forever thankful for the individuals that gave me the strength and guidance to be who I was always meant to be.
Before there was fear. Now there is confidence.
Of course, there are always struggles with self-love and everything that comes with it. However, you must remind yourself daily that you are perfect in every way that makes you who you are. I found it helpful to go to the mirror, look myself in the eye and say "You're beautiful." It is difficult to say things that cause disbelief, but it works over time. Always for the better.
Be grateful for what life has given you to complete your true self. Be hopeful that you will improve in mind, spirit, and body. Most importantly, be confident in who you become and continue to be. Grow infinitely and gain indefinitely. Have the courage to say "I am perfect the way I am. Love me for me or get lost." You are loved and needed in this world for all that makes up the amazing human that is YOU.
Let this be a reminder that no matter what size, race, religion, or culture you are, you are a wonderful being that deserves love from others and yourself. NEVER give up on who you are and always live up to the best you can be.