Learning to Love Yourself

learning to love yourself

            I have always loved the entire concept of love. I have watched every teen-romance movie there is. And each time I always found something new to be in awe of. I know I am not alone – everyone craves some kind of love – we’re told that’s normal as we grow up and experience new things in life.

However, something that gets neglected most times when talking about love is the love you have for yourself. It’s easy to get it confused with a level of narcissism and being vain, though they don’t necessarily equal one another. So then what is loving yourself, and how is it important or relevant? More importantly, why should we and how does that affect those around us?

            No one ever teaches you how to love yourself. It’s almost implied in society and media that one day you’ll wake up, and you won’t feel incredibly guilty about anything and that whoever you are and how you identify will be an entirely comfortable concept and you’ll never second guess it.

There’s not an abundance of movies or other media that shows you how to love and accept yourself, and if it’s one of the talks your parents give you while growing up (though it should be), I think I missed out on that lesson.

So… do we learn this? And where from? I think it’s something people never like to address because it’s a hard thing to do; we’re never quite sure how to start and what to do or even who to ask sometimes.

Take A Selfie a Day

A friend of mine was given a piece of advice that to take a photo of yourself every day – regardless of what kind of day it was – over a longer period of time (ie. 1-3 months), in order to get comfortable with yourself. You get to see how you’ve changed in the course time frame, but also being able to look at and accept yourself is a big step in starting self-love.

To elaborate even more on the selfie-a-day concept, I think it’s important to look at yourself and find something about you that you love. It can be anything from your talents to the way you look in your favorite clothes – anything that makes you feel confident and powerful. There was a moment in time I would cling hard to what people would tell me about myself; I would hold everything close enough to feel personal though I can only remember all the good things when I recall the comments today. It feels like convincing yourself that you are good at your favorite hobby, or that you do look amazing in a certain color or style of clothing and the feeling that you’re having to convince yourself is what feels narcissistic or fake. Though I think that how anyone believes anything, and when it comes to yourself it’s okay to feel powerful and righteous because that gives anyone enough confidence to do anything they want and be whatever they aspire. It’s the motivation you need to be so unique and be able to achieve so many dreams and goals.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that me here telling you to take yourself at face-value (quite literally) can seem hard and impossible, and it can be. This kind of thing takes time, especially for people who have never even wanted to address the topic within themselves. I would say I love myself, though it’s taken so much work to get to where I am and everyone has to go at their own pace. But I haven’t answered why people should love themselves, and I think that the answer is a tough pill to swallow sometimes.

Let go of some of your ideas of Love

We can love the idea of love, and sometimes we love it so strongly that we forget to care for ourselves in the process. We crave those big movie moments and we want them at such specific times with certain people, that we become selfish in trying to get those moments. I think that when we love someone more than ourselves, we tend to get hurt by putting others’ happiness and well-being before our own. Additionally, more often than not, we can find ourselves putting our confidence and happiness in the hands of our partner when we struggle with confidence and self-love. Being able to love yourself allows for so much more love to come into your life!

So I guess what my big point in all of this would be to take the ‘John Hughes-style’ moments in life as they come; the movie-screen type of kisses and the late summer nights out with your favorite people and having a perfect song played at the perfect moment. Though to be able to hang out by yourself and read your favourite book or dance around your room – to be in any moment with yourself and be entirely comfortable with who you are is as equally important and if someone has not told you that is one of the best kinds of love to hold in your heart, then consider it to be me.