Typing it felt strange. It felt more poetic rather than real. And this is really where the problem lies.
I have always been a strong believer that loving yourself is the first step to so many things. First step to be confident, to be succesful and also to be loved by someone else. Today is the 14th of February, Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated for Love (mostly for consumerism but that’s a whole other post). And loving yourself is and always will be the most important love in your life.
Growing up, even accepting myself was difficult. Not only because I was shy and fell way too deep into the perfectionism hole, but because I didn’t grow up with a very supportive family. It was the opposite, really. But I am, strangely, grateful. It made me stronger. It helped me build an invisible armour. I learnt to be grateful for the worst things that have happened in my life, because it made me who I am today. And who I am today is what I have always wanted to be. I am the person that my seven year old self was dreaming of becoming. And my younger self is really the only person I want to impress. I mean, I don’t live with 20 cats like she wanted, but the most important things are there. My personality now is what I was always striving to be. And I am proud of it.
Take a good ten minutes to sit down, without any distraction, and think about what your younger self would think of you now. If you think that they wouldn’t like who you are now, then this is simple: change. Grow. Take action.
Loving yourself is not only about personality (although to me it is really the most important), it is also about appearance, because, unfortunately, appearances is so important in this modern time. As a young woman, I can say that it is definitely the most difficult part of loving yourself. There is this image perputuated by the media that women should look a certain way. Perfect skin, plump lips, long lashes, big boobs, small waist, large butt, and the list goes on. Not only does it teach boys that attractive women look this way and the rest are not considered attractive, but more importantly, it teaches us, young women that we need to look this way to even just gain approval from society.
I am a firm believer that beauty comes in all shape, size and colour. And no one does actually have perfect skin. Photoshop is use so widely nowadays. When I look at myself in the mirror, I now see a familiar face, one that I like. One that can be pretty but also one that can do very funny facial expressions. One that I know. I now use makeup as an art, not as a pass for validation. I dress myself in a way that I find aesthetically pleasing, not to try to come to photoshopped models level.
Loving yourself can be hard, but you can make it easy. Always try to learn and grow as a person, no matter at what level you are, and remember that physical appearance is not everything. Be grateful for what you have, what you are, and what you are becoming.