For 29 and a half years, I put my self-esteem and self-love in the hands of others.
I based the way I loved and accepted myself on the way other people loved and accepted me. This was draining, because their actions, words and attention were never enough. I was always left empty, more hurt and yearning for more.
In June of last year, I started to learn how to love myself – to affirm myself, to appreciate who I was and who I could be, to accept and embrace who God created me to be – flaws and all.
Self-esteem and self-love are concepts we hear about a lot, but what do they really mean? Why are they necessary?
Both are needed because if you aren’t confident in your abilities, if you don’t love yourself, you will fall short of accomplishing your life’s purpose, you won’t be able to love others, nor will you be able to receive love.
To be a whole, empowered person, capable of loving and being loved, you have to love yourself FIRST, from your soul to your reflection in the mirror.
WHAT DOES LOVING YOURSELF LOOK LIKE?
- It starts with realizing that you are valuable, and that God loves you as you are.
- It’s accepting all of who you are – including your past and present – while looking forward to who you wish to become.
- It means that you believe that you can get where you need to be by being who you are and no one else.
- It is choosing to be authentic, regardless of who you are around or with.
- It’s encouraging yourself, speaking positive words regarding your inner beauty, abilities, accomplishments and dreams.
- It’s taking care of yourself daily (resting, saying “No”, having fun, eating healthy foods, exercising, using your time as you wish).
- It’s trusting that you know what is best for you, in spite of what other people think or say.
- It’s forgiving yourself for your mistakes, shortcomings and failures.
- It’s treating yourself the way you want others to treat you.
- It’s focusing on what you have versus what you don’t; and dedicating every moment to perfecting your strengths and using them to build the life you’ve always wanted to live.
- It’s not being concerned with what other people think about you, yet appreciating the people who know and love you.
HOW WILL SELF-LOVE CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
Loving who you are unconditionally sets the tone for the types of people, opportunities and experiences that you invite into your life.
If you love who you are, then you will attract love – loving people, opportunities that speak to your natural talents and passions, experiences that feed your soul, and unwavering joy.
You can’t live the life you were meant to live by being someone you were never meant to be. So learn to love yourself, practice loving yourself, and you will be free, open to love and able to give love!
What does self-love mean to you? How have you nurtured unconditional acceptance of who you are, what you look like, and realized all you have to offer the world?
Be loved. Love you. Be love.
*Photo Credit: CreateHER Stock