Love Yourself…I Know. Crazy, Right?

Why is it that everyone in the world seems so obsessed with love, but no one seems to know how to love themselves?  I know some people think they are the center of the universe.  However, that sounds more to me like self-absorbed, not self-love.  I’m talking about enjoying being in your own company.

I hear a lot of people say they don’t like to be alone.  Is this because they are extroverted and feel energized around people?  Sometimes.  A lot of the times I notice people are trying to distract themselves from their negative thoughts.  Even introverted people who like to be alone will distract themselves in their alone time.   These distractions come in the form of friends, the internet, food, alcohol, marijuana, shopping, tv and even homework.  Anything, instead of having to deal with their emotions.  Why is that?  I think it is because if people stay busy they don’t have to admit they don’t really like themselves.

When I ask students in my office to tell me what they like about themselves, I usually get a long pause.  Those words don’t come easy for most.  However, if I ask the same students what they don’t like, I better have a pen and paper ready because I’m going to have a list of many things in a few seconds.

Some people have never had a positive role model in their life.  They’ve never had someone say positive things about them or even seen anyone have a positive attitude in general.  This person will not only have to learn how to create positive thoughts, they will most likely have to work hard at erasing all the negative voices in their head.  Some people are lucky and have had people around to support and love them.  However, they are still their own worst enemy.  They still have to learn to find their own positive voice inside.

Let me tell ya, a little kindness can go a long way.  It has to start small.  You aren’t going to wake up one day and find that you are suddenly full of love for yourself.  The first way to start is to think of little things you enjoy or like about yourself.  They can be about the way you look, feel, or things you do.  You can even appreciate things that no one else does.  Not everyone sees things the same way.  For example, my dad believes to be successful you have to make a lot of money.  I realized I started to feel successful when I saw how I could help people.  Even though I don’t make a lot of money doing it.   Others don’t have to agree or believe the same way for you to believe it about yourself.

Another example is this:  A girl walks into a grocery store to buy ice cream.  As she grabs the Ben & Jerry’s off the shelf, a girl on her left thinks, “I wish I could be that skinny and eat ice cream.”  Another girl on her right thinks, “No wonder she is so fat.  She eats ice cream.”  So what should this girl believe about herself?  That she is fat or skinny?  It all depends on who she asks I guess.  That is why it is important to develop your own beliefs because not everyone is going to have the same perspective.   And that is okay.  Beliefs aren’t wrong or right.  However, they can be more positive or more negative.  Many people tend to believe more negative things about themselves.  In order to change, you have to sometimes shove out what you’ve heard from others and develop your own ideas.

This isn’t easy, but it is also not impossible.  Beliefs are very powerful and you can change them.  I’ve also found that no one can reassure you but yourself.  Some people think they need to be in a relationship to feel good about themselves.  They feel if someone else loves them then it will be easier to love themselves.  However, I’ve found your significant other can tell you all day long that you’re smart and fun, but if you believe you’re stupid and boring you will bounce those compliments right off your negative shield.  It is good if there are positive people around you, but it doesn’t always make a difference unless you choose to embrace those positive beliefs yourself.

This means you can be single and still learn to love yourself for who you are.  It is actually better to learn to love yourself before you get into a relationship.  Then you won’t be as vulnerable to people who tell you what you want to hear just to get something from you.  You will be confident enough to see through other people’s manipulation and strong enough to stand up for yourself.  You will also be more willing to wait for a truly great person to come along.

P.S.  Just because you love yourself doesn’t mean you can’t set goals and improve things about yourself.  But it does mean that you shouldn’t try to improve only because you are comparing yourself to others.  Once you can let go of the comparing game, you can spend that time focusing on your own beliefs to reach the goals that make you happy, not someone else.

P.S.S.  Just because you love yourself also doesn’t mean you can’t spend just as much time and energy to love others.  You don’t have to stop doing one to improve upon the other.  There is room for yourself and others in your heart.

7 comments on “Love Yourself…I Know. Crazy, Right?

  1. Really great and insightful post! It’s weird living in a culture with so much self-hatred. It truly is a cultural sickness (and because of this, I often wonder how much any individual can really do on his/her own to combat it). Think of how much we do and how much time we all spend, every day, on trying to feel better about ourselves, our lives, etc. It’s really sad. Thanks for highlighting this issue.

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I agree that our culture is kind of backward on the whole self love thing. You have to kind of step out of the mold sometimes to be happy with yourself, but the culture doesn’t always promote that. So I’m trying…thanks for your feedback!

  2. So very true, Becca!! This is something that I am finally coming to understand, believe, AND live every day. It is hard to break free from years of self-loathing and low self-esteem, but as I actually do, I have come to realize that unless I love myself first, I really can’t love anyone else in my life the way I should. Personally, I think this is key in a lot of the problems in many relationships. I know it’s certainly played a big part in mine. Thanks for a great post!! 🙂

    • I’m glad you liked the post. Thanks for sharing your struggles and I’m glad you are on the right track to loving yourself. You deserve it Kate!

  3. Pingback: Love Yourself?I … – College Life- Sex and Relationships – WordPress | ikadedogasa

  4. Wow! I’m really impressed, it is full of reality nowadays. I simply have no words to express my agreement with all that you have written. Therefore, I respectfully ask for your permission to translate and print a copy of your insights. My sister and I are really pondering about so many things and events that pass unnoticed most of the time. Many of these things are related to what you wrote. I want to give the copy to my sister so she can be part of this feeling of harmony I felt while reading it.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words about my post. I don’t mind if you copy it, and feel free to use it however you like. I’m glad you could relate to it, and I hope many others are able to as well!

I would love to hear what you think about this post or about my blog in general. Also, feel free to leave any suggestions or ideas for new posts in the future! Thanks!

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