As a teen, I suffered with depression. I would often run myself a bath, not for relaxation – but to cry and feel like drowning myself. I have recently opened my old diary and found that i thought ”the world would be better off without me”. I cried because I hated myself, I felt unworthy.
I was raised thinking that just being me was not good enough, that I had to be prettier, be smarter, or more girly. It is now years later, that I can confidently say, I am beautiful the way I am, inside & out. I am not perfect by any means, nor will I ever be, but God has made me just the way he wanted me, so therefore, I am perfectly happy with being the me he created.
The reason why most people feel insecure and unworthy, is thanks to the devil of self-esteem, comparison. Typically, we are constantly comparing ourselves to other people; ”her tummy is flatter than mine”, ”her teeth are whiter than mine”, ”she has 65 likes, and I only have 40”.
The beauty industry is succeeding so well. Why? Because, women and men alike are paying crazy money week in, week out, to beautify themselves. Who could blame them? Beauty magazines, Television, Picture perfect ‘Instagram Models’ and MUA artists are filling our worlds – but I am here to share the fact, that this NOT real life. In real life, there are blemishes, scars, acne, make-up lines and so on.
With the help of MUA’s these days, young women believe that their faces must always be ‘on point’. It is funny however, that even some of those talented make-up artists, would be very embarrassed if they witnessed their face in a harsh lighting. Our make-up may be gorgeous in one lighting, yet horrific in another, this is just the way of life.
What we see on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest, are illusions. There is no point in trying to meet the standards which are set on social media, we will never meet them. Someone is always going to be prettier, or skinnier. The standards are always rising.
Rather than striving to be happy, the majority of us are striving towards perfection. But perfection doesn’t exist – what is perfect to one person may be absurd to another.
We are living in a generation where Instagram ”likes” and the newest Mac Make-up, are more valuable, than a good old fashioned smile. Many girls/women wouldn’t dream of showing their true selves to the world, struggling to leave their house without a face full of make-up. However, I truly believe to fix ourselves, we must work from the inside out.
We would not want our Sons or Daughters to be raised thinking that one persons beauty, takes away from their own. So, why do we?
The constant seeking of validation from other people can stem also stem from childhood issues. In early years, we may be bullied and set aside, which leads to believing that we are not as important as other people.
This can then spiral into our mature relationships in the future, always seeking assurance that we are loved. We may then ‘people please’. For example, women will have sex with every Tom, Dick and Harry – believing that some stage down the line one of these men will love her. She feels valued at the time of the intercourse, this builds her self-esteem and allows her to feel happy momentarily. However, the happiness is short-lived and she is soon feeling even worse than before – used and mistreated.
This can spiral into marriages or other relationships, always putting ourselves before others, not loving ourselves enough to know any boundaries in relationships. Not loving ourselves enough to walk away at the first sign of mistreatment.
At the core of all these issues, is the lack of self-love. This is not a term many are familiar or secure with using, we believe those who have love for themselves are ‘cocky’ or ‘over-confident.’ And yes, there is a fine line between self-love and cockiness, but it is better to love ourselves than to hate ourselves. We should be able to say proudly that we love ourselves, without being shunned or laughed at.
If anyone laughs at you for loving yourself, you best believeeeeee that it is only because that person is deeply insecure in themselves. Pray for this person, they need the love – Wish them well, and continue on your way, loving yourself.
There are many ways which we can attempt to love ourselves. It may be something which you cannot comprehend right now, but I promise, if you are depressed, insecure or, there are ways which you can fix it. (I speak from experience)
Saying ‘No’;Loving yourself means having boundaries. To know what you will and won’t accept, in every situation. This may take some time to determine, and it may get harder before it gets easier. Start with simple things, like saying a confident NO to working over-time. If you would rather relax in bed than work over-time, you have every right to say no to that pesky boss who is always pushing her luck. Be fearless.
Self-assurance is always a good thing. One good thing about over-confident people, is that they sure know what they will and won’t accept. If someone is making you cry, that is a sure sign that this person is not good for you. To love yourself, means to walk away from anyone or any situation which makes you feel anything less than happy. It make take a few times, sometimes we will stay in a situation, no matter how upset we get when doing so.
Look after your body, mind and soul;Body – There are many ways which we can do this, many people may be unsure how. However, this is one of the simplest ways to discover self-love and happiness. Starting with moving your body. Simply exercising can release endorphin in our bodies. This is scientifically proven to instantly make us feel happier. So, try moving for 30 mins a couple of times a week at least, walk the dog, run around the block, join a boxing class. Also, fill your body with good, natural foods. We wouldn’t feed our new-born baby microwavable burgers, cigarettes and copious amounts of alcohol every day. Why? Because we love them. We must show this same love to ourselves.
Mind – We our the master of our own thoughts. If an unhappy thought enters your mind, shoo it out as soon as you can. Replace it with a positive thought, e.g. ”I am so happy to be alive.” Believe it or not, negative thinking is a choice – it is easily fixed. For every negative thought you have, attempt to replace with any good thought. Research ”Mindfulness”, and use it.
Spirit – This is different for everyone. This can come as a form of religion, or meditation. By a simple prayer, or 5 minute meditation, we can be at peace for a short time. Smile at others, show kindness, humility and compassion. This will help you be happy within yourself.
Embrace your flaws;
Anything about yourself which you don’t appreciate, begin to appreciate it. Some people may wish they had what you have. No thigh gap? Some woman who physically cannot gain weight onto their body, would kill for your thick thighs. That spot on your face? Some girls who have permanent acne they will never get rid of, wish all they had to worry about was one little spot. Curvaceous waist? Love it. Scars on your skin? Love them. Too tall? Love yourself, some 5’1 woman wishes they looked a little taller. Love your flaws, embrace them. Your flaws separate you from everyone else. Love all of you.
Don’t overwork yourself;
Sometimes people will over-work themselves, thinking they have to prove themselves. They only person you have to please is yourself. Don’t get roped into working 40 hours a week, without even stopping to care for yourself. Self-care, take a bath, lie in bed once a week and devour your favourite chocolate. Make time for you. ”You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Take care of yourself first.
Try not to get jealous;
This one can take time and dedication. Start by un-following any social media pages which make you feel insecure in yourself. PS. stop comparing yourself to your partners ex. Realise that perfection does not exist. and don’t forget, it is what is on the inside which counts. If you are a nice person, who cares what you look like!?!?!
Every morning you wake up, tell yourself that you are the sh*t. And believe it! Write down 1 thing every day that you like about yourself. One thing does wonders to your self-esteem. Start small, ”I am a great coffee maker.” this may then lead to ”I love how beautiful my eyes are.” You may not believe this or see instant change, but every day you are closer to self-acceptance.
Be grateful; This is my favourite. Every day, find something which you are grateful for. One thing is enough to make a big difference. It could be that you’re grateful nobody annoyed you in work. It could be as small as ”I am grateful I have a bed to sleep in.” which could lead to ”I am grateful to be alive.” and so on. Appreciating what you DO have, can do wonders helping you forget about what you DON’T have.
Above all, be patient and kind to yourself. Whatever is happening to you now, ask yourself, will this matter in 5 years? Share your problem, you do not have to suffer alone or in silence. Write down how you feel. Do not keep everything bottled up.
May Blessings & Peace be with ya,