How To Self-Love
About three years ago was one of the most challenging and hardest experiences I’ve had to go through thus far. When I graduated from Fashion Marketing, I was surrounded by materialistic things in an environment where appearance was above all. I had trouble finding a job within the industry that I had tried so hard to be successful in. I tried applying to jobs through all the possible ways such as online, in person and networking, but it was as if all the odds were against me. After consistently getting rejected for over a year my self-confidence and drive completely was shattered. I became the “victim”. I didn’t understand how I couldn’t get a job trying so hard while it came so effortlessly to others. I struggled with depression to the point where I socially isolated myself, physically tried harming myself, locked myself in my room constantly every day, obtained anxiety and feeling sorry for myself. I was scared and ashamed to go out in public with friends because I didn’t want to put an act on pretending like I was happy. I also didn’t want my friends to judge or see me at my worst. I ended up hurting those closest to me because I completely cut them off, which led them to think they had done something wrong. I felt like that I didn’t owe my friends an explanation at all. It was one of the loneliest and vulnerable moments I had ever felt in my life. It felt as if I was stuck in that miserable self-loathing rut for an eternity. I missed the old “ME” the one that loved making others happy and cracking jokes all the time. I had gone to the doctor a few times and all they could recommend was anti-depressants. I refused to take anti-depressants, I felt ashamed and didn’t want to rely on a pill the rest of my life to fill the void. I then started to hallucinate at night and started seeing things and that was essentially my 'wake-up call'. From there on out I knew that I needed help. I also lost a tremendous amount of weight at a short amount of time dropping 15 pounds, barely having any appetite to eat. My mother tried taking me to counseling, which I refuse., I didn’t want some stranger thinking that there was something wrong with me. I woke up one day realizing I couldn’t go on like this anymore, that the only person able to help me was ultimately myself and that it had to be within.
It was then that I realized something about myself; I simply wasn’t happy. After that realization, I became very active and began adopting a healthy lifestyle. I struggled years with the socially generated perceptions of success but ultimately left feeling unhappy. I finally came to understand the real meaning of success - happiness truly must come from within as opposed to being based on what the outside world sees of you. I began going to the gym and noticed my appetite coming back. I began feeding my body the right nutrients it needed and showing it the respect it deserved. I can honestly say that changing my lifestyle by working out and having a more positive outlook has truly saved my life. The gym was my outlet, my drug to feeling better not just physically but most importantly mentally. I consider this to be successful because I’m truly happy with myself.
Of course I still face challenges I’m only human, especially old recurring mental patterns that I am correcting. Happiness, confidence, self-love and self-compassion are not things that you acquire and stop cultivating. It is a constant journey to maintain them, and within the journey you discover that you can always continue to go further. There is always more self-discovery that can be done.
How to self-love?
1. USE POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
with every negative comment you tell yourself, give yourself two compliments! Train your mind to become more positive.
2. ENJOY LIFE ENHANCING ACTIVITIES
discover what makes you happy. Take up a hobby that you’ve always wanted to do
3. BECOME WILLING TO SURRENDER
breathe, relax and let go! You can never see the whole picture. You don’t know what anything is for. Stop fighting against yourself by thinking and desiring people and events in your life should be different.
4. ACCEPT UNCERTAINTY
suffering comes from living in pain of the past or the fear of the future. Focus your attention on the present moment and be at peace.
5. BE YOUR OWN FRIEND
Talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend. If you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself you would probably have no friends, LETS BE REAL… Give yourself the same compassion and love as you would give them.
6. BUILD YOUR LETTING GO MUSCLE
If you ever feel stuck again, take a moment and look at how much progress you have made, and that you are not the same person you once were.
YOU ARE MORE, YOU ARE BETTER!
Self-love is a journey, it took me a long time to fully understand it myself. It takes dedication, devotion, and practice. Resolve to love yourself each and every day and watch your best self-emerge!