Learning how to love myself genuinely is proving to be one of the more challenging lessons I’ve been faced with. (And I mean love, not tolerate.)
There’s a difference between looking at yourself in a mirror and truly seeing yourself for who you are, flaws and all.
It’s easy to fall victim to the mindset of “unless I am loved, I am not lovable”, but usually we place this responsibility in the lap of another human.
Why is it so hard to love ourselves?
At what age did the mirror become the gateway to pick ourselves apart instead of the reflection to show us our beauty?
We live in a time of picture perfect influencers and contorted mass media images, and this is bound to have an affect on all of us. Younger kids are learning how to shift their bodies to find the perfect angle, download the app that can touch-up their natural skin and/or curvature, and present themselves in such a way that their age is lost in translation.
We have enabled this culture to become larger than life and now we are living in an unrealistic reality, and I believe that it’s taking a hard toll on the collective mental health.
I wonder what age I starting seeing pictures of the “right” kind of body?
Or when I felt pressured/encouraged to wear makeup to “accentuate” my beauty?
Growing up I was the typical “tomboy” (or at least that’s what I was labeled as). I was always dirty, sweaty, and playing the recreational sports on the all boys teams. I felt so at home in those environments but as soon as I entered into the cliques of grade school, I was begging to fit in. That meant wearing clothes that we too tight, uncomfortable push-up bras, blown-out makeup, and perfumes that were overwhelmingly too strong. I was adapting to the society around me even though it meant going against who I really was.
That pressure is sitting on the shoulders of younger people, shifting them away from originality and causing waves of confusion.
We preach self love but teach brainless conformity.
At what age was I influenced to turn my back on myself?
And since when did self-love become a synonym for narcissism?
When we break free of what we’re told to be, look like, and act like, suddenly we begin to find traces of who we really are and begin the process of learning how to love ourselves again. It feels like in those moments it can be perceived as narcissistic behavior but really it’s tapping into a forgotten power. The power of authenticity.
Loving ourselves is a top priority.
Our bodies deserve love and respect, even if you aren’t happy with how you look.
Our emotions deserve validation, even if they are challenging to navigate.
Our voices deserve to be heard, even if it’s going to cause turbulence.
We are worthy of self-advocacy and self-respect.
That is the essence of self-love.
As a mom, not only is it my responsibility to instill love into my daughters foundation for her to build upon. But it is also my job to live by example; to show her what it actually means to blossom within myself, for myself.
I want her to know she can always return home to herself.
Give yourself some love today.
It’s a never-ending and multifaceted journey that ebbs and flows.
Deep breath, friends.