You wake up at 2 pm, you hear a growl, and comfort yourself by rubbing your tummy. Your sweatpants are half-soaked from the buckets of sweat you unknowingly secreted while you’re asleep. You try to gather up yourself to start another day of oblivion, face the mirror to wash off yesterday’s discontent, and after, stare back to it. You take a deep breath to fill the emptiness of your core and release a sigh that lowers your shoulder almost to the floor.
When questions like “How did I end up like this?” and “What has happened to me?” start to pop up, most of the time what you can see are your insecurities and imperfections. These could happen when you fail to live your life and just go on blindly with a daily routine that society has made for you. You might find yourself lacking self-love.
You may have failed to love yourself and take care of yourself but the great news is, you can always make up for it. There are so many ways of how to practice self-love. But for you to embrace your whole being, first you have to be kind to yourself to accept the things you cannot change.
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”― Shannon L. Alder
Let’s be honest and acknowledge that we all have insecurities that we don’t want others to know. Insecurities that can stop us from doing what we want to do or stops us from wearing a certain piece of clothing. These insecurities, left unattended can surely crush our confidence.
What can we do about it?
- Acknowledge the part of your body that gives you insecurity.
After identifying it, focus on how to improve it. Don’t just stare at the mirror and complain about how soggy your belly is. Get up on your feet and start shaking your body.
2. Get rid of things that feed your insecurity.
Start unfollowing celebrities and models if they are not contributing to your well-being. Focus on the better side of yourself first, not on your insecurities.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”― Albert Einstein
What you focus on determines how you feel. If you are focusing on how undeserving you think you are, that’s how you’re going to feel.
Your imperfections are not flaws. They are protection. Protection from the doubts that you have about yourself. If you know that you are not perfect, you can be bold. You can try new things. You can be self-forgiving and self-loving.
The more you acknowledge the fact that your potential is endless, the more you strive to do better and kinder to yourself.
You only have one body. That’s the only body you will have to help you get to where you want to be. You can lose a part of it but you can’t grow an extra part.
Take care of your body while you still can. Love your body.
Never-ending dialogue. Endless stories you tell to yourself. Repeating thoughts from scenarios you wished you had done better. Constants criticism on how you carry yourself and the whispers of disappointments. These are the common struggles that we face when we don’t have control of our minds. When we don’t know how to manage and control our thoughts, our thoughts will control us – the way we behave, the way we talk to others, and the way we see ourselves.
What can we do about it?
You have to learn how to deal with the voices in your head. Observe yourself from a third person’s perspective and learn how you react so you will know how to manage those repeating thoughts. If you constantly run away from it, your brain will just keep thinking about it. And where are going to run when the battle is in your mind? No one can help you. You’re on your own. You can hear praises and encouragement from your family and friends but what will happen when you are alone? At dawn? When it’s you against yourself? You have to remember that whatever your mind puts you through, you are enough. You are enough to fight against it.
Be brave enough to stop the game that your mind plays against you. Believe in yourself and find peace by letting go of things that already happened.
Remember, your condition is not your conclusion.
How to love yourself?
I’m not an expert or anything but as someone who is practicing self-love, I have 2 advice.
1. Know the little things on normal days that can make you happy.
If you know what makes you happy on normal days, you can have access to it whenever you need it. Loving yourself doesn’t always come in grand things like going to another country or ticking a thing on your bucket list. Sometimes, it can happen every day.
One example from me is having a good breakfast. Even a simple egg and toast and a cup of good coffee make me happy. When I think of retirement, I always see myself sitting on the porch taking my time with breakfast food.
Then, I asked myself, why wait for retirement, when I can do this every day? So, I wake up two hours before my shift, I prepare my egg and toast, take bath and I take time to enjoy my breakfast. I go to work with a full stomach, fresh and happy.
If it’s not self-love, I don’t know what it is.
Another thing is exercise. Remember the stupid small habit? I have one for exercise. It’s standing on my yoga mat. It doesn’t even have to do with exercise. What’s more stupid than that? hahaha. So I exercise almost every day with no minimum time. The idea that I’m doing something to keep my body healthy makes me happy. I can bend without hurting my hips or back. I feel proud of myself.
Preserving the body that carries me anywhere and helps me do the things I want is my way of showing that I am grateful for it. My body is not perfect, but with a little stretching and feeding, it does do the job well. I love my body for that.
2. Treat yourself like how you treat your closest loved ones.
Notice how you are so quick to defend and shower your loved ones with compliments. When they start saying negative things to themselves, what do you usually do? You start saying, “No, you’re not ugly.” “That’s not true, you are enough.” And when they are going through hardship, you’d say “You can do it. I know you can.” We are so fast in making other people feel good with themselves yet why can’t you do that to yourself?
When I finish my exercise and struggles to catch my breath, I tap my back and say “Good job!” Because we all need that support. I exercise for myself, so who else would thank me?
The world did not receive a wonderful person like you only to let you suffer. God would never allow that. You have a higher purpose. As you journey through life, finding or pursuing that purpose, don’t forget to love thy self.
You are loved more than you’ll ever know.