Why Self-Love Is The Hardest Love To Find

Woman in black leather jacket and sunglasses posing in front of blue skies at Santa Monica State Beach
Matt Alaniz / Unsplash

Our moms said it. Our friends said it. Even Justin Bieber said it.

Love yourself.

It sounds gratifying and satisfying but I honestly find it hard to give.

We’ve been given articles about how to take care of oneself, on how to establish self-love after a heartbreak or loss, on self-care tips to get you going and on things you need to keep you on track.

They say that self-love will bring you to places that will make you feel complete. While I totally agree on that, it’s not easy. It is never easy.

You see, you don’t just wake up and feel whole again. You don’t get up in the morning and feel alive as if there’s burning passion inside you that screams, ‘hey, you deserve this.’

I’m not saying that you need to listen to your demons and just falter. All I’m saying is, self-love is hard but it’s worthwhile.

Self-love doesn’t come like a thief in the night to steal your worries away.

It starts with self-awareness. When you’re aware of the things you need to change, of the toxic ideas you need to ignore and of unworthy situations, you need to avoid, then you’ll be able to see a clear path towards a more positive outlook.

Then comes acceptance. When you finally understand that there are things that you cannot control, that you always have a choice and that you cannot always expect the same from other people, then you’ll be able to accept the terms of life. Shit happens, and you either accept it and move on or drown yourself in bitterness and regret.

Acceptance isn’t equal to settling for the sake of doing so. It is coming to terms with your choices like mature adults do.

Then forgiveness happens. You see, this is the most crucial aspect of self-love. Forgiving someone who has done you wrong is one thing, forgiving yourself for the choices you make – good or bad – is another. It’s a constant battle with your inner demons and a long-term debate with your heart and soul.

It’s common that we beat ourselves up and put the blame on our shoulders. We often condescend ourselves because we think we aren’t good enough. We contradict our decisions because we fear being judged based on our principles. We live according to the terms of society.

We think that it’s selfish to love oneself, but no; because it is more unfair to live according to what’s normal and acceptable by the society than to live according to what you believe in.

See, that’s why it’s hard. That’s why it’s frustrating. But there lies the beauty of it. Because once you come to terms with yourself and what you need, emotionally and mentally, then you’ll be able to have a clearer grasp of how you can start loving yourself. Eventually, you’ll find it easier to forgive yourself for being imperfect, because the moment you realize the perfection in your flaws, that’s where you begin to completely love yourself. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

Get Thought Catalog’s once-a-week email and never miss a story!

Every Friday we collect our absolute best stories, quotes and photos from the week and put them into a single email. It makes for perfect weekend reading material or easy catch up on our best stories.

Click here to join the list!