I read somewhere once that in order for anyone to love you, you must first love yourself. And while I understand the logic behind this, I could not help wondering… wouldn’t it be nice if someone could love you while you learn to love yourself? Hmmm… maybe I’m wishing for too much. That aside, I wondered about the concept of self-love. For some, it appears to come easily. They love and revere themselves. There is nothing they cannot do or try. In all honesty, I envy and admire such people. For, to love thyself, despite all flaws is a challenge indeed.
Through out my internet musings I came across an article or something of that nature that suggested that one should write down what there is to love about oneself. That to start the practice of writing it, it will eventually become a habit to learn and appreciate what there is to love about yourself. I have never done any such thing. Feeling it was far too narcissistic, I have actually never sat down and given a single thought about what there is to love about me. Like many, it is so much easier to come down on myself. If one was to ask what are my flaws, I would have a list prepared in my head, but to ask what are my virtues, or my strengths… well I falter.
However, it occurred to me that this may be a project worth pursuing. As written on my mission page, the purpose behind this blog is to find purpose where purpose was once lost. I write to make sense of my world, and to rebuild the strength I once had. Learning to love myself or to at least appreciate myself, I felt that was a good lesson to learn. However, even more, I hope that this encourages another. I think we all deserve to take a moment to love ourselves and to remind ourselves why we matter.
So, I have chosen to challenge myself to write one thing to love about myself for every day this month. That’s 30 items in all. To prove my due diligence and dedication to the task at hand, I have decided to share my results with you every 10 days. I’ve shared my first list below:
- I enjoy caring for and wearing my natural, curly hair.
- I do not mind looking people in their eyes, smiling, and greeting them with a bright, “Hello.”
- Sitting at home having an animé/movie night and eating ramen is a perfectly acceptable Friday night to me.
- When I have a goal, I am able to plan out the steps to that goal, follow the plan, and eventually see my goal achieved.
- I like to dream; big or small, I like to dream.
- I appreciate a good book.
- Learning is a never ending process to me.
- I am able to enjoy conversation with almost anyone I come across.
- I am as comfortable in a large group as I am alone.
- I can openly admit what I admire about another person, and I am willing to share that with them with an affectionate and sincere heart.
Some of these seem silly to me, but I wrote them down because they were genuine.
Now, as I slowly complied this list, it became increasingly difficult for a number of reasons. One being that writing this list made me uncomfortable, which was not a predicament I expected to come across. I mentioned earlier that I can be hard on myself. I thought that doing the opposite would be a welcomed and easy task. It was not. For me, writing the things I love, well, in all honesty I felt I had no right to do such a thing. It felt selfish, self-centered, and completely undeserved. Who was I to say such things? No one. So, as the days continued, it became more and more of a struggle. To the point that I realized I was actually avoiding writing all together.
Coming to this realization, I took this as an opportunity to stop and reflect on why this was happening? What was I doing differently? I was writing – that is the norm. But it was the topic that made me uncomfortable. Writing positive things about myself, made me uncomfortable. I had grown so accustomed to only looking at my flaws, that to see my strengths was troubling for me. So much so, that when a dear friend asked to hear what I had listed so far the idea of sharing these ideas out loud was down right mortifying. It took a certain amount of coaxing for me to finally share.
And I realized, this simply would not do. If I could not even share this project with my closest friends, how could I share this with you or even encourage you to do the same? I had to be stronger.
Truthfully, I think we are often discouraged from loving ourselves. Much of modern day society relies on us feeling inadequate, feeling that we need x,y, and z in order to truly be fulfilled. We live in a culture of you are not skinny enough, you are not thick enough, you are not tall enough, your hair is not long enough, you are not pretty enough, you are not toned enough, you don’t have enough money, you don’t have the right car, you don’t live in the right area, you aren’t interesting enough, you aren’t dramatic enough, you don’t do enough, you don’t work hard enough, nothing you do is enough. So, to love ourselves means to filter all the “not enough” we hear on a daily basis, it takes a certain level of transcendence that is nearly impossible.
This level of thinking becomes ingrained in us, and we start to believe it. I did – sometimes I still do believe it. So, to write about the opposite of what we are taught to believe means to go against the programming. It is hard to break the programming. I am trying to break it a little more everyday.
This was the first lesson I learned while doing this project, and as I continue down this path this month, I am sure there will be more lessons to learn.
I finish this by encouraging and asking that you take a moment and think about the things you love about yourself. No matter how trivial, so long as it is sincere; and to please share a few of those ideas in the comments section below.
Until next time… may we all be sweetly inspired.