“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
– Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.
We start developing self conscious behavior as a child. We get concerned with how other people see us. We are concerned oh their judgement and what they say about us. We end up believing what people say, afraid that what they say about us is true. We start questioning ourselves. Am I really unattractive? Do these clothes tell people that my parents are poor? Our thoughts get tainted by others immaturity. Meanwhile, kids and adults bully people because they were treated unkindly. People bully others because they are unsure of who they are and want to make others feel the same way. It’s a part of abuse and doesn’t come from love. Of course, as young people, we don’t understand that. Instead, we internalize this terrible behavior as the truth. When we hit our teenage years, our social life becomes extremely important and our appearance, both our personalities and physical appearance, matter most in our lives. We remember what people have said about us or what we have come to think about ourselves.
Social Acceptance becomes the goal and primary goal. Being social (creating friendships and relationships with others), allows us to feel appreciated and helps us feel a part of something bigger. Naturally, we want people to care about us. We want to have someone be there to build us up. As adults we have a tendency to practice this behavior with the people we get into an intimate relationship with. Some of us put pressure on our loved ones to show lots of appreciation. They want to be showered with compliments and if these needs aren’t met, one may feel awful about themselves. That is where the problem lies. You are responsible for making yourself feel amazing. One should love and respect themselves wholeheartedly. Only then can one love someone else the proper way. You will not be using someone to feel accepted. Instead, you will share the light and love you have for yourself with other people. You will attract beautiful people into your life and you will enjoy being alone during your down time. You will find yourself happier and you will not allow yourself to feel rejected by other people.
Here are some things you can do to practice self love:
Positive Affirmations: Purchase colorful index cards and research positive quotes or create them yourself. Jot down your accomplishments. Your favorite aspects of your personality. Put them up around your personal space and be sure to say them out load and read them daily.
Leave Negative People Behind: We tend to be reflections of the people we choose to be around. If you are used to feeling victimized, blaming others for your problems. If you feel down about where you are in life, if you don’t think highly of yourself, chances are you spend your time with people who have a similar mind set. Try spending your time with outgoing people. People who work towards their goals on a daily basis. People who respect others and progress in a positive light. Taking on a new mind set will be healthy for you. You will become inspired and speak differently about yourself. You will believe in your potential rather then focus on the negative. This positive change will transform into a habitual thing in time.
Create a Goal/Start a Hobby: Spending time on doing things you love is a healthy thing to do. Creating small goals or hobbies allow us to feel productive and helps keep our attention on positive things. Start a scrap book, take pictures, create a travel journal and go on small journeys or learn a craft. Be persistent and the final product will help you enjoy life. This also helps practice spending time with yourself. Volunteer in an area of interest and do activities that you never do. You will find that you enjoy your own company more and more each day.
Forget Past Failures & Forgive Yourself: Many people become obsessed with past failures. We reject ourselves for the mistakes we have made or how other people made us feel about ourselves. It is important to let it go. Every makes mistakes and in time, we move on from them. If we didn’t make any mistakes, we wouldn’t grow. Learn the lesson, forgive the past, and create your life a new.
Be Kind to Others: Hold the door for people, say good morning, lend someone a phone charger, make a joke with a stranger. Send a anytime card to a family member. Whatever you do, do it with love. Smile often and you will see the difference in your day.
Find a Good Read: Inspirational books have been a favorite of mine. They are so positive and full of ways to see life in a different perspective. We may not have mentors or therapists and reading good books is similar to speaking to a wise person with a different point of view. Be sure to read daily.
Keep a Journal: Before you go to bed, write an entry about the best part of your day, the worst part of your day, and the best thing that came out of it. Be sure to end it with saying something amazing about yourself. Be sure to speak beautiful things into existence. Write about the things you want and believe it will happen. ie. I am proud of myself for how far I have came. I am more and more beautiful everyday. I will attract nothing but inspirational people in my life. So be it!
Spend Less Time On The Media: We live in a world that has a balance of good and bad. Unfortunately, the media is a hyperactive place for a lot of negative, superficial, distracting things. Sometimes less programming is better for our focus.
Pamper Yourself: Take care of your body. Join a gym. Eat healthier. Get a manicure or pedicure. Buy yourself flowers. Plant flowers in a local garden. Take a bubble bath. Get a massage. Listen to good music. All of these things help cater to a happier you.
We are ever changing so outside judgments and what others believe about us are usually reflections of themselves. You are only responsible for yourself. How you love others is how you love yourself. The company you keep is a reflection of how you love yourself. By doubting yourself you miss out on believing in your potential. Renew your mind and experience the greater things in life that you wish to possess.
To everyone out there, please believe in yourself, love yourself, cherish yourself, respect yourself, and acknowledge the potential you possess. Without love, we would all continuously suffer. And remember, when life gives you lemons…