Learning to love yourself is hard, but rewarding

Hope Stapleton

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Do you love yourself? To some, it can seem like a simple question. To others, it could turn your mind into a battle field. With today’s society being a climate of comparison, it is hard for people to be themselves when they are constantly shown how they should look or how they should act. People really have a tough time being who they are out of fear of judgement or criticism.

I have always been told, “Before you love someone else you should learn to love yourself.” This is one of the most important things I have been taught. Before you fall in love with someone, you should have a love affair with yourself. Take the time to find out what you like and what you enjoy. Learn who you are and what your goals are for your life. Take time to explore all the options and opportunities that you are presented with.

When you were young, you might have heard, “Treat others how you would like to be treated.” But now, like myself, you might have switched to treating yourself how you would treat others. Self-love is not just coming to terms with your body and believing that you are beautiful inside and out. It does not mean just supporting body positivity. It means taking care of yourself mentally and physically by being healthy.

To help keep an optimistic mindset, you should surround yourself with positive influences like a supportive group of friends and family. Try to become active on campus or community events or find time to complete a task you enjoy. If you have begun to create a dependence on toxic influences such as drugs and alcohol to cope with the feeling of being unhappy, it can create a downhill spiral for your life both physically and mentally.

  When you wake up in the morning in a wave of bed sheets and bed head, it is not often that we think, “Wow, I am beautiful!” You might head to the shower to wash away last night’s proof of imperfections. Or you could try to stand in front of a mirror and say three things that you love about yourself. Think about your personality and your features and all the special qualities that you hold.

It might seem difficult at first, but after a full 30 days of waking up and making yourself list what you love about yourself, it gets easier. I use to have the hardest time even finding a reason to get out of bed. The thought of standing in front of a mirror looking for just one thing that I could even like about myself seemed impossible. With continuously doing this and not missing a single day, on the 30th day, I could not bring myself to a stopping point. I found so many things that I completely adored, and it changed my entire outlook on myself and my environment. 

    Starting a journey of self-love can be the most amazing adventure you will ever have, and it can be the most ground-shaking one as well. When you can finally say that you have come to terms with accepting your flaws, and you still know that you are worthy of love, that is when the journey of self-love starts. It’s not the easiest of lessons to learn, but it’s definitely the most rewarding.