Notice how I said started and didn’t have the title “How I learned to truly love myself.” This is a process for me still, and I will constantly be learning about how I can love myself even more. Hopefully, I can share it with you as I move along with my own journey.
Disclaimer: This is MY journey, and it might not be yours. I will just be sharing what helped me, and you can do with the information what you will. I hope this information is helpful to some of you.
Now, I am not just talking in terms of loving my body, but also loving who you are inside, without any judgments from other people. Yes, it’s cheesy, but it is true.
Although it has taken me most of my life to start loving myself, I am glad it has finally started. Yes, most of my life, because most of the judgments we see in ourselves come from, social media, friends, family, and school. It is a time of unlearning all of the judgments put upon you starting at a young age. You have to take off all the piles of negativity that has been put on you, to see what you are, truly.
Here are a few things I have done, or things I have heard, that have helped me on my self-love journey:
Took social media off my phone for a while. Although social media can be very positive at times, such as giving inspiration, it is also highly negative. I did do an entire blog post on why I delete social media off my phone every now and then, so you can check that out after reading this. Social media may at times give validation as to how good you look or act, based on your posts, but that validation is coming from an external source that we can’t rely on. What happens when that validation isn’t there? You may go back into a mode of looking at yourself as “not valid.” You have to be the one to give validation to yourself, which you will find if social media is off your phone for a while. Along with gaining your own validation to yourself, you will also be able to be away from what you “should” look like or act like. Or away from the hate and negativity coming from people who don’t like how you look or act. You get to see the beauty in yourself, without distractions, and notice you are your own person. Every mind and body is different and unique. Cheesy again, but true.
Talk to myself or treat myself like a friend or family member I have that I love. If my friend would say she looked bad or fat, I would be in shock and tell her “no, of course not, don’t talk about yourself in that way! You are so beautiful and unique!” When, in reality, I was talking to myself in that negative way. If other people see me as beautiful and unique and love me for me, why can’t I do that with myself? Be kind and gentle to yourself…
Dress up and act like the person I want to be. If I saw myself on the street, would I be jealous? Would I want to look or act that certain way? If the answer is no, then ya gotta be true to yourself. I started dressing in clothes I bought that I thought were so cool when I bought them, but would never wear it because it was too “risky.” But if I saw someone on the street wearing those outfits, I would be in awe, aspiring to be her. Well, I knew I didn’t have to aspire because I was her. So I started dressing like who I wanted to be! That is just one example, obviously as it all shouldn’t be materialistic and how you look on the outside. But if you want those toned arms or abs (for yourself not for others), then go do what you need to do to get you to that place! Your life is your own, and you can do whatever you want with yourself and your body!
Took myself on dates! It’s awkward at first, but then you get used to it! It is awkward because you think everyone is staring at you, but in reality, nobody gives a sh*t. They are all too focused on their own lives to focus on yours. I remember I went to a movie by myself a couple of years ago, just because I had some extra time after work before going home, and nobody had wanted to see that specific movie with me. I had never done it before, and it was amazing. I wasn’t constantly worried about how other people were feeling, or what I might look like to other people. I was focused on the movie, got my favorite snacks, and sat in the top row in the middle. The only one in the row. Ever since then, I realized I only had to rely on myself to do the things I wanted to do. Seeing that movie was me telling myself that I can go do what I want because I owe it to myself.
Got a therapist! I was so grateful I listened to my instinct and got a therapist when college started for me. Ever since I have obviously been able to talk about so many problems, but it really has taught me to put myself first in a lot of situations. Sometimes my therapist asks me, “but is that YOU’RE problem? Are you what caused this?” And it wasn’t my problem and I wasn’t the cause most of the time. I started loving myself because I started realizing I was the only one who could give myself true love and validation for the rest of my life, and I didn’t have to be apart of other people's problems. I am my own person, and I just have to focus on my own issues and learn and grow from them.
Obviously, there is a lot more to be said about starting to love yourself, and I am not fully even in love with myself yet. These are just a few things that helped me and it may help you, or it may not. Either way, thanks for reading, and I hope you have an amazing day!