An Open Letter To The Girls That Struggle With Self-Love

An Open Letter To The Girls That Struggle With Self-Love

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” -Buddha
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I struggled to write this letter because of the emotions that I felt while I was writing it; I felt happy, sad, relieved, angry, empowered and vulnerable. I write this as an open letter to anyone struggling with self-love, but in a way, I was also talking to myself. I was reassuring myself in the values that I believe for other women and admittedly, it feels great to write something that can help others and yourself at the same time.

First, let me tell you that you are not alone; approximately 91 percent of women in the world struggle with a positive self-image. Of course, not many women can outright admit that she is unhappy with herself. It can make you feel vulnerable and too open; and honestly, that’s why it is so important to talk about it.

There will be days that you look in the mirror and feel like a weed in the garden. And that’s OK. However, there are also going to be other days that you will stand taller than a sunflower, feeling like the prettiest rose. And that’s OK too. An important thing to realize is that you are allowed to feel emotions toward yourself. You are not forced to only see positives. You are not forced to become emotionless. Emotions can motivate, empower and excite you into new adventures if you let them. Emotions can also remind you that you are human.

However, self-love doesn’t just come from someone else telling you that “you need to love yourself more” or “you’re so pretty.” Self-love doesn’t come from the affection and attention of another person. Self-love doesn’t come from drugs or alcohol.

Self-love comes from when you learn to accept the positives within yourself and when you allow yourself to listen to the negatives as well.

You may never fully love every inch of your body, every aspect of your personality, or every decision that you’ve ever made. And again, that’s OK too.

You should never suppress your self-love; embrace the days that you feel like a gorgeous rose and work through the days that you feel like a weed.

Self-love isn’t blind acceptance, it is growing and transforming while nourishing and supporting the temple you have within yourself. You may decide that you are unhappy with an aspect of yourself, physically, mentally, or emotionally. And that’s OK. As a human being, we are always changing and transforming. As long as you are treating yourself properly and showing yourself love, nothing is wrong with change.

Celebrate the small victories! Any form of progress is indeed progress. You may have started going to the gym, or taking public speaking classes, or learning to play the violin. Celebrate your first mile on the treadmill. Celebrate your first self-introduction to the class. Celebrate learning your first note successfully.

Become mindful. I know for girls struggling with self-love this can be hard. Stay true to what you believe. Follow your thoughts, goals and future. Believe in yourself and your ability to decide what is best for yourself. You are the only person who fully knows what morals, values and beliefs you’ll have and you need to be able to defend them: sometimes to yourself and sometimes to others.

Self-love cannot come without self-care. I could write this two million times because honestly, this is the most important aspect of self-love. You need to nourish your mind, body and spirit to be able to love yourself fully. Did you drink any water today? Did you shower today? Did you eat today? Did you sleep today? How about getting out of bed and walking around a bit? Self-care is crucial to self-love and I cannot stress it enough.

Live with intentions. You may not know exactly what career you want to do for the rest of your life. You may not know exactly who you want to marry, where you want to live, how many kids you want. You may not even know what you want to wear. Again, that’s OK. Strive to live every day with purpose and you will find it easier to love yourself. Set intentions and goals for yourself every day. If your intention is to inspire others, make decisions that support that goal. If you believe your purpose is to raise awareness for animals, make decisions that will support that goal. It doesn’t matter how small or large your intentions are; setting them, and following through, is enough to create happiness inside of you.

Lastly, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself, without regrets, during the good and the bad times. Accept that you are a human and that humans can make mistakes. You cannot view these mistakes as setbacks or failures; you need to view them as life lessons and learn from them. You can forgive yourself as a rose, you can forgive yourself as a weed.

I know that self-love can be hard sometimes; keep your head up and stand tall. Realize that it is okay to be yourself fully. Remember that any change in the world takes time and there is beauty in the time spent. Develop your intentions and purpose and live your life to the fullest.

Oh, and please remember, “A flower does not compete with another flower. It just blooms” and you will too.

Cover Image Credit: seedsoftheheart.com

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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The Only Difference Between A Summer Body And Your Winter Body Is Your Attitude

Your love handles need love, too.

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Summer is coming and for most, this is a very exciting time. The weather is warm, school is out, and the beaches are packed. Although summer is great most of the time, it can also be super stressful for people who aren't confident in their bodies. There is a body ideal that is set on media sharing sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and VSCO that makes people feel like they need to fit that image to be considered attractive.

My first problem is, well, these images are unrealistic in the first place. Most of the time, people posting photos of them in their bikinis or swim trunks have edited the photo in some way. Whether they've edited it to appear skinnier, more muscular, or tanner, odds are they've doctored the photo in some way. Even if they haven't, who cares!

I know I've personally struggled when it comes time to buy a bathing suit. Honestly, it's the worst thing ever. Looking in the mirror and seeing what you look like after the holidays and 4 months without the sun can be shocking. It's time to embrace this! I've seen so many people posting "working on my summer body," or "getting ready for bikini season," and it's honestly just sad.

A person shouldn't have to change their everyday lifestyle to want to "look good" in their bathing suit. What's wrong with a little extra weight on the thighs or some cellulite on your butt? As long as you feel confident with your body, you should want to embrace it and show it off!

Feeling confident in today's world is harder than ever for women. The media is pushing body positivity, but it doesn't seem like it applies to everyone. If a celebrity is a little thicker, everyone applauds them and talks about how beautiful they are, "even though they're bigger," and that is exactly where the problem lies. Shifting the standard of beauty because someone is bigger totally discredits whatever compliments they receive. It's a backhanded compliment and it's not fair to include a comment about their weight while trying to compliment them. Someone's beauty should not be defined by how big or small they are and saying people are an exception to the rule probably hurts them more than you think.

I don't know about you but I won't be doing anything to prepare my body for this summer because these people are going to take what I give them! All in all, love yourself first and it'll give others the opportunity to do the same!

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