The great Samantha Jones once said, “I love you, but I love me more”. Pretty much everything Samantha did in SATC was an act of practicing self-love. I talk a lot about how we should all practice self-love and learn to treat ourselves with the same kindness we show to the people we care about. However, I have been thinking a lot lately about this one question. Why should I love myself? What are the reasons why I should love myself unconditionally?
The first step in learning to love yourself is to find the things you like about yourself, no matter how small, and focus on those things in a positive light. When you see yourself in a negative light it is easier to focus on the things you don’t like about yourself. This is where your self-doubt, body dysmorphia, and other unhealthy mental health habits live. We often forget that we are worthy of love; from ourselves and others as well.
Let’s do an exercise. Take a look at yourself, and name something that you like about yourself. It can be anything. It can be something about your appearance- you have a nice smile, the color of your eyes, or how you did your hair today- or it can be something about your personality- you’re hardworking, kind, fun to be around, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just pick one thing and explain why you love that thing about yourself.
I will start first. I’ve had some practice with this exercise before, so I have way more than one thing I like about myself. Not to sound superficial, but I think I’m pretty great if I am completely honest. But let me stick with my top 5. My top 5 reasons as to why I love myself.
I am funny- at least I can make myself laugh
I am not going to be headlining a comedy club any time soon, but I know how to make the people around me smile. I would say that I am pretty damn funny. I get a lot of laughing emojis on my Instagram stories, so the comedy world better be ready for my debut pretty soon!
I am honest… sometimes to a fault
One thing I hold the top of my priorities is honesty. Whether it be from myself or from those I have in my life, I always expect full transparency and authenticity in my life. This can mean that I overshare sometimes. I always try to be my full, authentic self in everything I do. One of my life mottos is “what you see is what you get” and I live by that in a lot of the different aspects of my life.
For the interest of being described as vain – I am also pretty
Everyone goes through phases where they don’t like how they look. Nitpicking at the features that don’t quite match up or meet the ideal beauty standards. I go through these patches a lot. I often struggle with identity, but for the most part, I love how I look. I have learned to love my imperfections as much as the features that I always receive praise for. I think about what I would look like if I changed something about my appearance and I wind up hating the image of it in my head. I may not be the ideal standard of beauty, but I meet my standards of beauty. That’s all that really matters.
I am not afraid to take risks
Life isn’t without its risks. I am the type of person who will always try something at least once. It is where a lot of my best stories come from. My comfort zone keeps me from experiencing a lot. Pushing my own boundaries has become a sort-of habit for me. I have taken risks for the sake of predicted outcomes. Whether it’s my own curiosity or my lack of self-preservation, I am not afraid of taking the risk.
I always try to better myself and learn from my mistakes
Perfect has never been a word I would use to describe myself. I don’t think everyone ever has called me perfect, and that is one thing I truly love about myself. I am a flawed, disorganized, mess of a human being. I make mistakes on a daily basis. But no matter how badly I screw things up, I always do my best to learn from them and be the best human disaster I can be. I may not know how to properly file my taxes but at least you won’t catch me almost getting ‘un-alived’ by someone I was dating… I won’t be making that mistake twice.
The point of this is that no matter how much of a negative image you think you have of yourself, you are worthy of love. I often get into this headspace where I feel that I am not worthy of being loved. I sometimes feel like there are more reasons for people to dislike me than there are to love me. My brain tries to trick me into thinking I am not worthy of the time and attention of others. It poses a challenge that I wake up with every single day. Am I going to listen to the intrusive thoughts and anxiety trying to pull me down, or do I listen to the people around me and have shown me love? Which one am I going to take as a fact that day?
I know I am not alone in forgetting to love myself; flaws and all. It’s a part of the human condition that is the absolute displeasure of experiencing. Take my advice and take the steps you need to take to give yourself unconditional love and support. Practice self-care, speak with a therapist if you need to, or even just find the things about you that you love and bring you joy.
So, what is it that you love about being you? Share them in the comments. I would love to hear them.