How to Love Yourself When You Don't Know How: Healing Starts Within
Unless we have a clear idea of why we should love the way we are, we'll always feel we are not perfect, or do not meet society's expected standards! We'll always feel something is missing in our life, or we don't have enough, we aren't enough, and therefore we don't deserve our love and attention. We spend half of our life or sometimes more than that fixing ourselves, and in the process we forget that we did not love and care enough for our needs!
The more I write on topics like; self love and self care, I more I feel the love for myself, and the more I'm driven towards feeling worthy and important just like anybody else in this world. Through self love and self acceptance, I've been able to create a deeper appreciation for myself, as I don't wait for external approvals anymore!
"Stop believing what others tell you about, 'who you are!' and start accepting that you're your best version, who is brave enough to show up in a raw authentic way, and who is not-hiding behind those masks people pleasers usually wear."
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Nothing is more satisfying and liberating than to have a full awareness of who you are, and how you respond to everything around you, and in what ways. When you can respond to anyone about your whole self, about your values, and the beliefs you hold about yourself, you kind of release and let go the battles that you've been clinging on to for so many years! The greatest of all," is feeling worthy only when others find me worthy, feeling happy when someone else can make you feel happy, etc."
"When we rely on external factors to love us, care for us, accept us, approve us, and value us; we give power to people and circumstances to define us and to validate us. Stop seeking validation from others!"
So how do you know if you're loving yourself enough honestly and confidently?
When I sat down to write this post, I decided I must "laundry list" the things I value in my life and about every "details," that I care more than anything else! And it made me happy to know that I had listed everything that defined me as a woman [I've become today, after those grueling years of failures, mistakes, rejections, and criticisms], and as a human being. I did not skim over the things that deserved my attention in my life, rather now I was more aware of the love and acceptance for myself. I have had learned to be more kind and accepting of my physical and emotional needs.
"When you start accepting your whole self, you start healing from within!" When you heal a part in yourself, you also kind of heal that part in the world. The only way to heal your "broken parts," is by feeling them, by paying attention to them, and by forgiving for being too hard on yourself! Forgive yourself for all the past failures, guilts, and mistakes. Remember: you did your best. You gave your best. So, now let it go!
"With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world." ~Dalai Lama
So how do you know if you love yourself enough, and you give priority to your self-care and self-love habits ? This is how I find out. I hope you find them helpful too!
1. I don't care about naysayers anymore.
I've learned to believe in myself, in my dreams, and everything else that I do. People don't just dislike your work because you aren't the best, but most of the time they hesitate to encourage and/or appreciate your work- because you're doing good. Therefore, I don't feel discouraged anymore if others don't like my writing, or my art, or my videos; as long as I'm able to influence and inspire few lives. And I know I'm.
2. I know my strengths and weaknesses very clearly.
To develop a strong self- awareness, it is very important to know our weaknesses as much as our strengths. We often lack in acknowledging our areas of improvement, and that's why our weaknesses stop us from doing the things we want to do. Our strengths magnify our skills and talents, and therefore it gets easier to do the things we love doing- no matter what!
3. I'm aware of my mental and emotional health
I no longer encourage myself to be around negative people. I avoid going to places/events where people can be downright strangers [in their behavior] and unfriendly. I avoid participating in any kind of negative talks and gossips. It is really hard to stay positive in a world where people find it easy to accept negativity than to welcome positivity in their life, and in their behavior. The implementation of self-awareness becomes essential for our own mind and well-being. Therefore I'm aware of the people, places, and my own actions that is not helping me to be better, to control my emotions, or is taking a toll on my mental growth and stability.
4. I'm strongly aware of my purpose
Through this journey of self-love and self-care, I've discovered that taking care of my passions, honing my skills, and learning about myself more each day has got me closer to my purpose. Each day I'm learning, growing, and evolving with new energy and new awareness about self and the world. And after so many years, I can say I'm living my purpose and it continues to guide me personally and professionally. Being closer to my purpose, I can now see how it was guiding me to take all the decisions and choices, I've made so far.
“Down deep in every human soul is a hidden longing, impulse, and ambition to do something fine and enduring.” ~Grenville Kleiser
Purpose means, we are a living a life that matters, and using our gifts of talent to make a difference in the world, and in our lives. When you're living your purpose, you're connecting to the very core of what motivates you, and makes you feel alive.
5. I know when I've to take a break.
I listen to my body needs now. I often take breaks, I sleep more when I feel tired and super exhausted, and I do exercise to keep myself fit and healthy. I now pay close attention to my physical and emotional needs, and prioritize my mental and physical wellness.
6. I am proud of my fashion sense and my personal style
I embrace my fashion sense and simply adore my personal style, because I know my strengths and how to flaunt them. I like expressing myself through the styles I choose, that also reflects my personality and my values. My styles express the person/woman I'm on the inside. I've decided not to follow the crowd, and be different and unique in choosing the outfits, look, and the accessories that can accentuate my best features.
7. I embrace by body and beauty
I still remember when some girls criticized and laughed at me, mocked at me, and made fun of my look, my body, and how my outfits looked! They thought I did not belong to them because my outfits were too outdated, and old fashioned. They could do this me because I myself wasn't confident about my fashion sense, and about the way I looked!
But now, I celebrate my efforts in building my self-confidence and my commitment towards improving my love for myself, my body, and my looks. I feel proud to learn the way I've evolved as a fashionable classy woman in all these years, and when I see other women/girls following my fashion ideas, and sometimes copying them too! Incredible things happen when we learn to embrace our beauty, love our body, and to feel confident about ourselves.
I now love my body unconditionally, for all the changes it has gone through, but still serving me to keep me healthy and alive. I embrace my beauty with wrinkles and lines, for going through all the stages of growing up, and still making me look naturally beautiful and or attractive.
8. I'm not defined by what others think of me
I don't believe what others think about me anymore. I don't give away my power to others to define me, and to tell me what I should do, or how I should behave according to their impressions! Remember: the only reality is how we see and perceive ourselves, not others! People's perception don't define us. I understand that we all want to be liked, to be loved, to belong, and to be appreciated; but when we start living according to people's expectations, we lose our value. We start believing what others tell us about our beliefs and behavior; but it is their opinion, not our voice, and nobody else knows the best about you than you yourself!
You must make a conscious choice of letting go what people think about you, and must start taking full responsibility for your actions and behavior. It is a skill that needs your focus and a lot of practice. The day you decide to love yourself and accept yourself truly, completely, you'll release yourself from being trapped in the habit of people pleasing, and you will be able to develop a strong will-power and self-esteem to be just- You.
Caroline B :
What a great post Epsita- these are such important reminders that every woman should read!
Epsita M :
Thank you so much, Caroline <3
- Epsita M :