Modern Self Love Is Unattainable, Only If You Take It So Literally

Modern Self Love Is Unattainable, Only If You Take It So Literally

“If you’re waiting for your next love look in the mirror.”
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The other day as I was scrolling through my tumblr — yes, I still tumble circa 2012 — I came across a quote by Bridgette Devou: “if you’re waiting for your next love look in the mirror.”

In this modern day and age, we constantly are hearing the importance of loving ourselves. Some bullshit about how if you don’t love yourself then who will? Self-love is the first step to happiness yadda yadda yadda.

Whatever your age, whatever your gender, whatever your identity, self-love is no easy feat. We are our own worst critics, and as we spend each and every second with ourselves, it’s easy to find things that are wrong, scars we wish would fade, skin we wish was smoother, teeth we wish were whiter, lumps we wish were non-existent, eyes we wish were different. It makes it no easier when you keep hearing all this bullshit about how you absolutely have to love yourself before everything else. Our culture is suffocated by the necessity to love itself and when has anything mandatory ever been easy to accept?

The fact of the matter is, it’s okay if you never reach the point of oh-so-perfect self-acceptance. Nobody is perfect and, quite honestly, if you think you’re perfect you’re a total asshole. Everyone has flaws and imperfections. Everyone has things they wish they could change about themselves. It is the knowledge of any shortcomings that allows us to change and mold ourselves each day, year, decade. Without the desire for change, no one ever would.

When I came across Devou’s quote it sang to me a different message than the generic “you have to love yourself.”

“if you’re waiting for your next love look in the mirror.”

When you love someone you accept them for their flaws, but this doesn’t mean you don’t see these imperfections. There are times you want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them for being so blind. Moments they bring tears to your eyes. Hours of silence following minutes filled with yelling.

The point is: love is never perfect. So, it’s unrealistic to think self-love will ever be perfect or that it will ever make everything else perfect.

Self-love is just as messy and untamed as any other type, and we must accept it as such. There will be days you look in the mirror and dislike what you see and that’s completely okay because there will also be days you wake up feeling more yourself than ever.

Self-love is a lifelong work in progress, the most important part of which is to enjoy the entirety of.

Cover Image Credit: Isabelle Roshko

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Being Ugly

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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