Take a moment and think about someone special in your life. This person could be your best friend, close family member, or significant other…we all have a “go-to”. Now that I have you thinking about your favorite person, think about why you love that individual. This could range from the fun times you’ve had together, the open conversations, all the way to the details of their great personality traits. You know that this person in your life would do anything for you, and that you would do the same without hesitation. Most of us can think of a time when our loved one needed us and we dropped whatever we were doing. We care about that person. We want the best for that person. We love that person.
So, this leads me to ask you my next question…why don’t many of you love yourself as much as you love your go-to person?
A very common pattern is that many of us are so hard on ourselves. You have heard the saying, “You are your own worst critic”, and that is so true for way too many people. When we hear our friends talking negatively about themselves, our first response is to encourage and build them up. However, when we view ourselves, how quick are we to tear ourselves down? You would never tell your close friends that they aren’t enough, or be nitpicky at their appearance…so why do we do this to ourselves?
In our society, there is a huge message to be perfect. An unattainable standard has been created, and so many of us try to reach it. I, myself have struggled to try to have the ideal image of an effortless life. The lesson I have learned is that that it is more than okay to have some setbacks. That doesn’t make any of us less valuable, and I think when you believe that yourself, self-development grows.
Another difficult factor is that finding the balance for self-love is over complicated. In my generation, it is encouraged to be “body positive” and to take care of ourselves but, if it’s overdone, we are vulnerable to judgement. Many people post about getting in shape and making healthier choices, which usually receives great feedback. But, on the other hand, if someone posts a transformation photo, it often is seen as showing off and a “tool” picture. This contradiction can create confusion and hurt, but I believe that through all of this, most people have good intentions. Yes, I strongly encourage people to do what makes them feel confident in their skin. Whether you want to post a body photo or share the changes you will make, a golden rule to remember is that there is a very clear and fine line between being proud and being prideful.
In all the do’s and don’ts regarding self-love, I hope that you do take care of yourself. It is so important to be there for the people in your life, but it’s easy to forget that you need to be taken care of as well. It is okay to say ‘no’ to some commitments and it is okay to put yourself first. Some people disagree with this but, there is a huge difference between attending to your well-being and being selfish. It is up to you to figure out that healthy balance of being with others and being there for yourself.
Finally, I pray that when you look at yourself, you don’t focus on the things you dislike. I pray that you see yourself for what you are, and not what you wish you were. You are beautiful and created the way God intended you to be. I pray that you speak confidently and that you truly take care of yourself. It is what you deserve.