Learning to Love Yourself
Let’s be honest. There are some days when you look in the mirror and you just aren’t in love with the person that’s reflected back at you.
Some days, it’s difficult to accept your flaws. Some days, it may feel impossible to appreciate your quirks. We’re not talking physical appearance here. We’re talking about the things that go much beyond the way we look – our innate emotions, personality traits and, of course, those inevitable – and oh-so-human – slip-ups.
In those moments when we feel the outside world is “winning,” it’s best to step away and unplug. It’s OK to take time to yourself. In fact, it’s necessary.
Life coach Vasavi Kumar has made a career of guiding people along the path to self-love. Her first piece of advice: Love yourself fully and openly.
“We can’t create anything or give anything if we don’t love ourselves,” she says. “Our energy and fuel come from the love and care we give to one another. The time and energy we give into nurturing ourselves is directly proportional to how much we are able to give away.”
Kumar is the first to admit that the journey isn’t an easy one. But one of the most important things you can do is to spend time with yourself.
“Spend time alone and do whatever the hell you want,” she recommends. “Notice how you feel. But more than anything, cultivate the relationship with you. Everything else will follow.”
If you’re feeling particularly weighed down and burdened, write your thoughts down into a journal. Confront your inner obstacles and wounds in an honest way. You don’t even need to keep your notes – and you definitely don’t need to be a “writer.” Even the process of pouring those negative emotions onto paper can help clear your mind for grace toward yourself.
Then…let it go. Forgive yourself and accept where you’re at right now. It might not seem like an ideal place to be, but trust that you’re putting in the work to make things better. (And then really do the work.)
Do something you’re good at. Stop comparing yourself. Tap into your community. All of these things can help build self-love. While you’re at it, try writing out a list of all of the things that you’ve done “right” over the past week. You can bet that there are many.
“Practice appreciating yourself the way you would appreciate your mother or best friend,” says Kumar.
And next time you walk by that mirror, stop and stare…because the view is amazing.
Shelby Slaughter’s favorite things include: Her dog, tacos, avoiding the gym, and everything “How To Get Away With Murder” and “This Is Us.” You can usually find her at a party near the food or obsessively Googling anything relating to Taylor Swift. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.