“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
During my life I’ve obeyed; I’ve complied; I’ve bit my tongue and; I’ve conformed. I’ve played the games; I’ve allowed my ego-mind to rule and; I’ve believed I was unworthy. Yet I succeeded (by traditional measures), I’ve grown, and I’m coming into my own being. But do I fully love myself – yet?
You know you are supposed to love yourself, but do you? This is a subject most people don’t like to discuss because society has told us that to think about it, discuss it, or assess it, is an act of selfishness. Additionally, most people avoid exploring themselves for fear that they will discover a lot to not love. The message we get is we are going to have to learn to love ourselves and it isn’t going to be easy or pleasant. The truth is there is nothing to learn, just some important parts to discover.
Without truly loving yourself, your relationships will be challenged and confused by the love dimension. Love will involve neediness and fear of not getting love. The only way to truly love others without needing them and being attached to not getting their love is to experience self-love fully and without condition. This is easier when you explore and discover what you know about yourself. Which is where some discomfort lies.
People are often afraid to love themselves because it means knowing themselves. Yet once a person begins to explore and embrace all parts of themselves, including the mistakes and faults, they discover how it all fits together to make them unique, lovable and loving. Rarely will you be disappointed with what you find. But this process takes time, a lot of time.
As we age, we become more aware of our true needs and wants – and what we have to do to bring them to fruition. There are many ways to love yourself now. If you’re interested in exploring, you might consider these choices:
- Let go of worry. Loving yourself requires you to let go of your worry. It’s sad to live a life filled with constant worrying. Worry doesn’t help at all and it cannot on its own, make things happen. Only wise actions can. Instead of worrying, think about what you can do to help in the situation. If the situation is beyond your control, then make a request to the Universe/God about what you want. Then, surrender to the outcome.
- Transform your mindset. Sadly, it’s often easier to get down on yourself than it is to lift yourself up, but if you want to love yourself, you have to change your mindset. You have to believe you’re worthy of love and you have to actively seek out positive things about yourself and your life. Believe me, if you don’t do it, no one else will. Change the way you think about yourself and the rest will fall into place.
- Be guided by your intuition. All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll hear two inner voices when you need to make decisions. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.
The challenge is to love yourself consciously and completely and be able to smile and nod at yourself even in the most challenging moments. When you discover all of you, you will know that what you have been looking for your whole life has been right in front of you, waiting for you to know it. Love yourself completely and the freedom to love others and all aspects of living will be your reward.
I’m still working on it. Are you?