To The One Who Is Learning To Love Themselves Again

To The One Who Is Learning To Love Themselves Again

Worry about loving yourself, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you
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Learning to love yourself first, above all else, especially in this society is even more difficult than getting out of bed on a rainy Monday. First and foremost you need to realize that if you want someone to give you and show you love you must figure out what that means to you. Visualize what love looks like through your eyes. Look at your life as if through a piece of glass. Search for the ones who are trying to shatter that glass, the ones fighting for you just to hold your hand through life. And the ones who just try to cover up the smudges and wipe away all the values you hold so tight, my dear, they are stripping you of your happiness.

One of the most important steps in this journey is recognizing what made you feel like you weren't worthy of love anymore and use it to repair your heart. What seems to be the reason for why people are unable to love themselves is the idea that they are 'too broken' to be worthy of love. Whether it be a loss of relationship or friendship. A lust for something that stripped you of your values. Or maybe it's as simple as your own thoughts racing around telling you that you are not worthy. Whatever it may be, you are not alone. In this life we all experience it. The heartbreaks of life are not only excruciating at times, but essentially necessary. These trials are the times that we can begin to understand who we are by what breaks us. Finding yourself at your core is key in this process. By realizing who you are you are then able to love that part of yourself. Which, is loving yourself. So strip away all of the undesirables, the shameful, the fake, the hidden. Cut away all in your life that isn't allowing you to be the best you and revel in the beauty that is your life. Remind yourself what it is that made you love yourself once before. Your personality, the way you laugh at a really bad joke, your friends, your family, stopping in your tracks just because you saw a dog, the countless amount of days that you just laid in bed having your own movie marathon for fun. The things in life that make you happy, the things that make you smile from ear to ear are uniquely yours. Your own little pieces of a life of love and joy. Find it, and embrace it.

While it seems all great and lovely to think about what fills you with happiness, the fact of the matter is that when you are unable to love yourself it's MUCH easier to dwell on the wrongs and picks and pricks of each day. Especially the days of your past that you can't seem to be rid of. When you are on the road to loving yourself again you must consciously be aware each day of all the miracles present in your life. Rejoice in the blissful things that make you smile. The little things that make your spirits soar. No, I don’t mean just forget about the past like it never happened. You can choose to build a house in the past and dwell in it or you can choose to live for the now. For the past is a place of reference NOT a place of residence. Be reminded of what used to break you and use it to make you stronger. Because love, You are more. You are more than the choices you used to make. You are more than the problems you used to create. You are more than what people say about you and you are definitely more than what you used to think of yourself. Being broken doesn't make you weak or small or lesser than anybody else. It just means that you have a past. Then maybe we're all a little broken. Stop hating the experiences that made you who you are today and LOVE who you've become because of it all. Stronger. Wiser. Empowered. Stop letting yourself fall down at the feet of those who won't hold out their hand and start picking yourself up when you hit the ground.


"Beautiful are those whose brokenness gives birth to transformation and wisdom." -John Green.


These wise words from the fabulous John Green remind us that enduring brokenness and pain, on all scales, can turn into the renewing of your heart and mind; if you allow it.

Remember when you were younger and going to the playground or jumping on a trampoline filled you with such excitement? Or getting that extra scoop of ice cream made you feel a little rebellious? Find the things that exhilarate you like that again. And do it on your own. You don’t need anybody else to make you happy and you definitely don't need someone who is going to tell you what should and shouldn't make you smile. Eventually I think we all learn to define happiness on our own terms and I believe when you hit that point you should never look back. Be unapologetically yourself and never say sorry for loving what you love. Be someone who makes you proud to be alive. With each and every breath it's going to be a battle. On this journey you will learn that fighting for your happiness is fighting for your future, and more importantly, your life.

Cover Image Credit: UltraFreeWallpapers

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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Being Skinny Isn’t As Great As You Think

A reflection on the struggles that come with a person's body image.

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Body image. It is one of the most powerful and harmful things on a person's self-esteem. Society and media have placed so many images of what we "should" look like. How we need to be eating, exercising, dressing, EVERYTHING. According to others, we always need to change ourselves or second guess how we see our bodies.

For as long as I can remember everyone has called me "tiny". Sure, being small and being able to fit into a lot of clothes is fun, but being tiny or thin isn't always a good thing. I am your typical college kid eating whatever I want whenever I want.

The only difference between myself and other students is that I almost never gain weight. Some girls or guys may read that part and think that I have a gift or blessing. That I can do whatever I want and still stay small and "pretty".

Have you ever finished a meal then looked at yourself and felt like something wasn't right? Some people in today's world and in history will spend time looking at themselves and seeing multiple things that are wrong with their body.

Some handled that by exercising and losing weight or gaining muscle, others have gone as far as throwing up their food or taking pills that force their bodies not to gain ANY weight. Hearing about that from adults or doctors seems crazy but people do it all the time. Possibly the people around you and you would never know.

I went to middle school with a girl that always finished her lunch walking to the trash and then taking herself to the bathroom. She wouldn't come back to our table until the lunch bell rang. Most people didn't give a second thought to this situation, me however, I followed her one day. What I saw next was something I wasn't prepared for as a 7th grader.

Two sinks, a mirror, and three stalls. One was occupied and the rest were empty. I walked into crying and nothing else. The girl had already taken care of her food and was trying to gather herself after what she just did.

People told her that she was gaining weight, that she was "chunky" or fat. She wasn't the only girl around that dealt with horrible comments like that. It's also not just girls dealing with issues like this.

Boys and men are constantly judged and only "ideal" if they are muscular. Young boys are called pigs or disgusting only because of their weight and looking bigger than the "average" person. Men are downgraded to a lesser meaning when they are thin and "stick like".

Even as we grow up kids and sometimes adults say things without realizing the effect. Being called tiny or skinny all of the time can make someone just feel small. Getting comments to eat a hamburger and fries can make someone feel insulted.

Having comments made about your skin or hair and people making assumptions about you can make someone feel misunderstood or judged. Being told that you need to eat more or go tanning because your body doesn't "look right" can torture a person.

There are so many things that play into a person's self-esteem. Average size, too small or too big is simply just words coming out of someone's mouth that don't understand the true beauties in life.

Do you ever look at a big oak tree and say, "You're too fat, you should really lose some weight."

Do you ever see a flower that blooms smaller than a quarter and tells it, "You are tiny! Why don't you go eat a burrito or something?"

No. You probably don't. Just replace the oak tree with mom and see how that feels coming out of your mouth. Replace flower with a teenage girl and see if you can actually say all of those things. Imagine if you were a parent and it was your little girl or boy that you were talking to and you said those words. Would you be happy with yourself? Would you feel guilty? Would you push them to make their body unhealthy just to fit society's standards?

I hope that you wouldn't

There are so many of us out there being told what to do with ourselves in order to be happy with our bodies. How can someone else determine our happiness for us? I have personally gotten to the point of breaking.

I see friends on a daily basis that want to change their body because it's "ugly". Many of those thoughts are because of things society has put in our minds, and not what truly matters.

As a society, we need to push towards total acceptance. Now, I am not meaning the sexuality or ethnicity type of acceptance because those are important on a different level. Respecting each other and our bodies are something that needs to be understood and enforced as much as sexuality acceptance is pushed.

I want to live in a world and raise children in a world that doesn't make people feel horrible about their bodies. It is THEIR body, not ours. The only body we should be worrying about is our own. I want my future daughter to grow and love playing dress up without wondering if her body looks right in what she's wearing. I want my future son to go to gym class and be able to do only one pull up with all of the other boys cheering him on to do better.

Is that too much to ask?

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