How To Love Yourself

It has become increasingly clear that loving oneself is not a game for two. It can not be learned, taught, or adapted in the arms of another person. In fact, it seems nearly impossible to find comfort in your own skin when someone else is doing the job for you. What if they leave? Unknowingly becoming dependent on the words and actions that you can not provide for yourself, humans crave the acknowledgment of others. But to what extent can chasing love and a partner, even certain relationships with family or friends, actually hurt you? When are we strong enough, independently confident, truly ABLE to go out and look for that another person?

It's a dangerous game to play, even for people with little baggage. A continuous instinct - people continue to seek people, ignoring their innate desires to be fulfilled by something, not someone. Our culture seems so terrified of "being alone" that they would rather make promises now than risk losing the chance later. My opinion on this is two-fold;

One, life is way too short not to love yourself first. I have spent most of my life oblivious to the concept of self-love and only now do I crave the freedom that it brings. After years of stubborn self-hatred and a vocabulary full of "you should" I am desperate to be at peace with exactly who I am. I want so badly to be my own comfort and have enough self-certainty to support my own decisions. Leaning on people may be a part of life, but having the ability to lean on yourself when no other shoulder is in sight, can free you.

Two, people tend to live in what I refer to as a 'scarcity mindset', feeling as though their chances are running out. That they "might as well just go for it now because who knows." This is a sad truth and by far one of the things I try to avoid most. What I am chasing is the uncomplicated nature of knowing something feels right and the belief that as I grow, these decisions will inevitably come. In addition, I will not be too insecure to follow them.

I think having inner peace is single-handedly the hardest thing to obtain - especially in a world that does it's best to convince you otherwise, in an economy that will always believe you need more to be enough. Hating something about yourself is perfect for our materialistic society because acceptance is free. If you truly get it, you will never need as much as you think you do right now.

"When you focus on what you don't have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is 'fixed.'"

If you follow the eyelash extensions, the damsel in distress, the dated movies of women unfulfilled without a man, the loss and lack of purpose associated with the concept of being single, or better yet ALONE, you see that there is a clear implant of "need." Some people feel as if their life doesn't truly start until they meet someone and others think they need a certain job, the right clothes that cost more than the ones they used to buy, the car that their friends can't afford, and the perfect vacation spot in order to feel they have "made it" and that now, they can be happy. The truth is, none of those things will actually change how you feel about yourself. You can love who you are, flaws and all with nothing but a backpack and train ticket.

Accepting who you are has nothing to do with what you physically do OR accomplish. I used to think it was just the opposite, that I was what I did. I craved validation for my grades, my leadership roles at school, the jobs I was hired for, and the social gatherings I attended. I didn't realize that these things had nothing to do with me as a person. I was living for the next thing that would prove myself a successful person. Unaware that I could love myself in a much simpler way.

For how I talked to my friends and the energy I felt from the sun. I could be proud of the way I carried myself even when I felt like I was falling apart. I could accept that I had bad days and be gracious about my pain - it made me appreciate when things got better. I could love myself for my limits, for learning to say no when something wouldn't serve me, for caring so deeply about my family. I could be proud of my aim towards presence, that it meant so much to me to just be still. I could be proud of the experiences I allowed myself to have in different countries and the people I was lucky enough to meet. For all the things that happened to me without force, the ones that the universe intended.

There were all these small things that I ignored in pursuit of tangible evidence that I was worthy of being loved - and not by me, but by someone else.

It was a breath of fresh air to come to terms with this tendency of mine. It would take time, some of which I already lost, but I was ready to start the journey knowing that every minute would be worth it. Obtaining the type of contentedness that I once thought only other people could provide. I spent a lot of my life wanting to change something, hating my differences and parts of my body, believing that pleasing other people would get me far and that if I just kept "going," moving fast, I would get where I needed to go. Now, I'd rather be present than anything else, knowing I can love me with someone, but more importantly, love me alone.

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