The world would be a very uninteresting place if we all looked the same, thought the same and felt the same, and yet I have found that much of my journey has been trying to fit in and change into who or what I thought I should be, and the other half has been unpicking all of this so I can be myself and embrace who I am.
When I talk to friends and clients there seems to be a similar pattern, up until our late twenties or early thirties there is a great desire to look a certain way, to hide parts of ourselves we feel aren’t normal, and to fit in. And then there becomes a process of unravelling, to find what was there all along: our uniqueness, which I believe is our gift to the world.
Self-Love through Embracing Our Differences
Ram Dass talks about how when we enter the forest, we are in awe of all the unusual trees, of how ever single tree is unique and how we are drawn to the more unusual trees… and yet with humans we tend to see any bumps and lumps as deformity rather than beauty. Just think about that for a second, the one thing you may feel is wrong with you, could be the most beautiful thing, because real beauty lies within the eye of the beholder. We know this to be true and yet how often do we allow ourselves to feel that this applies to us as well?
And it’s not only our physical features that make us interesting and unique. The world would also be quite a dull place if we all thought the same way. So next time you get frustrated about the way you are feeling or processing information, how about accepting it and see if that helps?
Self-Love Through Accepting Our Selves
Self-acceptance, what does that mean? It is all about acknowledging the rough and the smooth, so it’s not just focusing on our achievements, and those parts of self we find easy to love, it means that we accept our light and our dark. We look at ourself with discernment, and then accept all that is true. We may be funny and sometimes insensitive, that is ok, we can work on our insensitivity, which is much easier to do when we acknowledge and accept it. What we don’t do is buy into the story we may have built around some of our stuff which makes us feel ashamed of parts of who we are. This is not the truth. We accept it knowing we are humans and as such having work to do is part of it. And when we stop pushing parts of ourself away, we may find that others also embrace the whole of us, and we find our belonging.
What parts of self are you ready to accept today?
Self-Love Through Doing Things You Love
Doing things just because we enjoy them, signals to ourself that we value ourself, it helps us understand what makes us tick, and can lead us to discover more about ourself.
Spend some time working out what you love doing, the unique things that you enjoy. Really focus on how they make you feel, what lights you up and brings you joy. Don’t buy into any stories about whether you are good at it, it’s useful, or anything else, this is simple about doing things that light you up.
For instance I love painting, I’m not good at it but I love it, so I enjoy doing it. School (and perhaps life) encourages us to stick to what we’re good at and focus on that, which might mean we don’t know about some things we love. Who knows? You might love trampolining, wearing odd socks, eating in the dark, caring for a garden, team sports, the list is endless. Play around, experiment and when you find things you love, do them, and don’t worry about whether your friends or partner have the same interests.
Make a List of ALL the Amazing Things About You
Sometimes self-love can feel much harder than other days, this is normal. But we can look after ourselves by using our good days to support us.
Whenever you’re having a hard day, make yourself a cuppa, snuggle up, and reach for your list, read it through, remember that if it was true when you wrote it, it’s true now, the only thing that has changed is how we feel. Keep reading it.
Our thoughts and emotions come and go, and we can decide what is the truth that anchors us in a storm, choose a kind loving anchor, and if it feels too hard, you could ask a kind supportive friend to help you make your list, you might be surprised by the wonderful things they value about you.
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