We’ve heard it all before–“You have to love yourself before anyone else can love you.”
You’ve told it to your friends, and they’ve shot it right back at you. Though, has anyone ever really listened? What are you supposed to do with that thought? It’s the same overused phrase like someone saying, “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” Yeah? Well, the only fish I see is this sushi I’m eating…alone.
So what are you supposed to do with that statement besides replying, “Yeah I know” and shoving it to the back of your head where “You deserve better” and other lame advices lives? How do you take a crummy sentence you’re sick of hearing and turn it into something good in your life?
1. You start with telling yourself it isn’t crummy at all.
It might sound lame and like the topic of most articles in your News Feed you tend to avoid (please stay–I swear this gets good), but it’s not.
There’s no one else in your mind to judge you but yourself. So why are you telling yourself that it’s really that ridiculous? Why is the idea of loving yourself so trifling? At the end of the day, you can’t find true love without being true to the most important person: you. So the first thing you must do is convince yourself that it’s an idea worth considering.
Once you realize that the idea of loving yourself can actually be enjoyable, you’re already halfway there. The moment you become comfortable with that very thought, you are open to all the things that are already amazing about you.
What about the fact that you already got through handfuls of “the worst days ever”? You’ve survived, and you’re a hell of a lot stronger for it. Have you ever applied that new shade of lipstick and taken 100 selfies just for yourself? That’s right, you do look fierce in that Rouge Ecstasy lip color. Truthfully, you’re pretty dang awesome, and there are so many obvious things to love about yourself.
There are also the things that are a little less obvious; it’s the things that you haven’t admitted to yourself. It’s your unannounced fears, your childish anxieties, and your self-conscious tendencies.
2. Acknowledge all those little things to yourself. Right now.
Divulge to your heart that you think you’ll be alone forever. Confess to yourself that you really don’t know what what your career goal is. Admit that you feel fat today, feel broke today, feel lazy today, feel uninspired today, feel anything but okay. Admit all the things that you toil over before you go to sleep because your inner monologue is an asshole.
Now read that again. I just called you an asshole. And you are. You’re meaner than any “mean girl” was in middle school or even college.
You’re the bully the movies are based off of. But the person that you’re picking on is yourself.
Sure, you can admit when you’re having a good hair day, but can you admit that mistakes have taught you lessons and one-night stands didn’t ruin your life?
3. So now you’ve got to focus on kicking the itty-bitty-shitty-committee out of your daily life.
Kick them out. Admit the things that scare you and realize it’s ok to be scared. You don’t have to know what you want out of life today as long as you try to figure it out tomorrow. You are allowed to have that cookie and to enjoy being single without thinking that you’re gaining too much or losing too much. Having no boyfriend doesn’t make you less of a person, and no chocolate chip cookie makes you less incredible.
You have to realize loving yourself isn’t just a cliché, and that the things you hate about yourself are never worth hating. Go out there and do things for you. Go do shit that makes you ridiculously happy to be alive in your own skin.
Eventually, you’ll forget about the idea of loving yourself because it’ll become obvious. Why wouldn’t you love yourself? You’re basically fantastic. The only person who ever stopped you from understanding that is yourself. And now that you know that, now that you get it, someone’s going to walk right into your life and be amazed by how damn lucky he is to love you.
So, love yourself for the perfect Instagram and the awful Sunday selfie. Embrace it all. Fall in love with yourself, and then more love will meet you there.