I have observed that we, especially females don’t love ourselves enough – I’m not talking about narcissistic love but self-appreciation and acceptance. As a result, I hope to ensure my daughter grows up without self-loathing, being happy with who she is and without comparing herself to others/ society’s expectations. It’s something that I am conscious of and hope to provide her guidance. I believe that once you learn to love yourself then you can truly radiate that towards others. I realise that this is not an exclusive issue relating only to females but I have observed it in my female friends and relatives, and as a female myself, am writing from that perspective.
I was having a conversation with a friend where we were discussing people we know who have or would like cosmetic or weight loss surgery. As my friend made a statement about the person we were discussing, saying that she doesn’t think that person needed the surgery, I responded with “we all need to love ourselves more”. Growing up, I think that we all had our insecurities, me included – I had many! I have only just begun to accept myself, flaws and all and it has taken over forty years. There are many factors that contribute to insecurities – discrimination, family, friends, peers and society expectations to name a few.
People will have their own personal reasons as to why they would or wouldn’t have cosmetic and/ or weight loss surgery and that may change as time progresses. I used to feel differently about cosmetic surgery and thought it was something only attributed to vanity but the reason(s) are very personal and may make a big difference to someone even if you feel it is not required. It could mean the difference in being able to wear a dress, smile without being self-conscious or any other reason – all valid for the person concerned. I have what I call ‘war wounds’ from a near fatal car accident that I was in 19 years ago. I still have the initial reluctance to wearing t-shirts and shorts in the summer and mentally prepare myself leading up to summer. Wearing shorter sleeves, skirts and shorts expose my scars but for me personally, I couldn’t endure any pain associated with any type of surgery after what I have been through – but that is my own personal preference. As the saying states “Each to their own.”
This also reminds me of the difficulty in not judging others. I try not to judge others but sometimes feel myself struggling with it but when I realise this – I try to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view. This helps put things into perspective and even though I have been guilty of judging other people’s choices/ situations in the past, I try to change that now. I realise that we can never know someone’s situation until we have walked in their shoes. I have learnt that you can’t control what other people think but you can control your own thoughts and judgements. I read a quote which says “Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in on” and sums up perfectly what should apply to every individual including myself. I realise I’m not perfect and do not pretend to be so this is something I try to keep in mind to help me be better than the person I was the previous day. Writing about trying not to judge people reminds me of a quote from the movie ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ where Jennifer Lawrence’s character says “I opened up to you and you judged me!” which I have included below.
It made me realise that it is human nature to judge and I was probably guilty of it unconsciously while watching the movie. This made me realise how easily it is to judge others even when we try not to. I enjoyed the movie as I didn’t read or see anything prior to watching it and had no expectations. I enjoy being exposed to the story as I watch a movie and discovering the surprises, emotions and story-line for the first time. I feel we need to be mindful of not judging people especially when we may only know one aspect of their story.
While doing some research on the internet, I found a list that relates to this post titled ’15 Ways to Love yourself more’. I have shared it here and found that I have been doing some of these things but have yet to master the one about ‘Stop Worry: it only creates problems!’. This is something that I struggle with and hope to slowly let go. I hope by sharing this list it helps you take time out for yourself and find something that you love, that gives you ‘your passion for life’ – your sweet life ie. “La Dolce Vita”. It may be more than just one thing which is great – providing variety and keeping you busy enjoying life. This is by no means an exhaustive list and may be just the beginning of the journey to loving yourself more!
I hope everyone takes the opportunity to ‘love themselves more’ and realise that there is no perfect ideal – it doesn’t exist. There is only the one that you make for yourself and with that, there is no right or wrong. Be yourself, love who you are and others will too and if they don’t, just keep in mind that is their problem – not yours. I admire people who have this love for themselves from a young age and it is probably the result of supportive family, friends and a stable environment in which to grow. I hope this is what I can provide for my daughter to have the confidence that I lacked until recently. Finding ways to love yourself more – a great message, don’t you think?