Hello to all. I was going to try to take advantage of my kitchen at home do a food post this week, but I completely forgot my camera. And, well, Easter distractions happened, and here I am with a late post. So I am sorry! But I also decided to write about something that I have been struggling with lately.
SELF IMAGE. It is one of the things I believe people, especially myself, struggle with the most, and along with self-image comes self-acceptance. For the most part, I truly accept and love myself—-in the the way I look as well as the qualities beyond the physical that define me. So when I see people who have a hard time loving themselves or seeing how wonderful they really are, I feel sad and just want to help. I always wish I could just show them an outside perspective of themselves, maybe that way they could love themselves the way that I and/or others love them. ( This could be a little too cheesy for people, so if you don’t like it that is totally fine! Feel free to skip this post entirely. But for anybody who does want to hear how I try to improve my own and other’s self-images, read on…)
I read in a book years ago (I believe it was You Can Heal Your Body) that you should try to look yourself in the mirror every morning and say “I Love You” to yourself–and truly mean it. It does sound a bit weird, but the first time you do it, it is actually somewhat challenging. You can’t easily lie to yourself while looking into a mirror and saying the words out loud. The first time I tried to say it, I thought of all of the things I didn’t like about myself or things I wished I could change. When I tried to say those three words, they came out sort of hesitantly. Hearing them out loud was quite the effective indicator of how much I loved myself, so effective that I almost scared myself with how hesitant I sounded. Right then I decided I was going to try to convince myself that I loved myself, which can be as easy or as hard as you make it. A while later, I can’t even remember what I was doing, but I had the thought, “I’m glad I’m stuck with myself for the rest of my life”. When I realized that I just had that thought, I rejoiced a little bit–I mean, it is an incredibly happy thought! It made me happy to be able to write down in my journal or just say to myself in the mirror, “I deeply love and accept myself”, and really believe it.
So whenever I start to lose that mentality, or see others who haven’t even grasped the feeling, I become physically pained. When it is people I love I try to send them notes or actions or anything that will make them smile–but also tell them the qualities that I love about them (both physical qualities AND personality traits). And I realized that this was kind of the way I got myself to accept and love myself too. I just wanted to share a few ways, because, well, we all deserve to love ourselves!
- As I mentioned above, look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud “I love you”. Really try to believe and mean it when you say it.
- Start making a list of things you love about yourself that AREN’T physical traits. As hard as it might sound (and actually be), it is really great to look at that list whenever you are feeling down. Even if you can’t think of more than one thing on the spot (I couldn’t at first), keep the list and write something down whenever you think of it.
- Make a list of physical traits you love about yourself. It is hard to consider your self image when the only image you have of yourself is, well, your body! Every little thing you love about your body is important! It is so much easier to love yourself entirely when you see the positive things instead of the negative ones. Plus, at least for me, it makes you just that much happier! Whenever I am feeling down about my body, I try to remember all of the things it does for me– it lets me play volleyball, lets me run 3 miles when I feel like it, and it even breaths all by itself!
- “Love what you can’t change, change what you can’t love”. I read this in the book Getting Naked (I promise it is actually not about literally getting naked!) and it really resonated with me. I believe that part of loving yourself is simply accepting who you are and the things that you won’t be able to change, and being able to distinguish the things that you can and can’t control. A lot of things that you can’t change are physical–being 6’1″ as a 19 year old girl with small boobs and a strong nose is something that I will always have to live with! Well, age will change, but you could spend all the time in the world worrying about those things and they wouldn’t change. So why not spend your time working on the things you can change? These could be physical things, like becoming more physically active, or they could be things that bother you about yourself. For me, I am really shy and have a hard time meeting new people, so I always try to push myself into being a little more fearless when I’m around new people.
We are going to be stuck in our bodies for our entire life, so we might as well make peace with it, right? We are going to be living with ourselves for our entire lives as well, so we might as well try to become best friends with ourselves. I hope this helps you make your own day, after all, you are the only person who can make you truly happy!