5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means

It’s the age-old supposed cure-all for all of life’s woes (especially involving matters of the heart): “loving yourself first.” I don’t know how many times I’ve had to hear this, but I imagine the number is up there because what I do know is how many times I’ve thought to myself: what does that even mean. Because it used to sound to me like some weird form of narcissism or delusional way of not acknowledging anything wrong you’ve done. It used to sound like it meant you shouldn’t take responsibility for yourself, or something like that. But low and behold, I’ve come to the conclusion that it actually means loving yourself because you are a flawed person, and despite the fact that you are imperfect. And while I’m at it, here are some other things that I think loving yourself really means:

1. Having the courage to forgive yourself. It means being able to acknowledge your humanity, your wrongdoing, but to not let it be a source of internal hatred. To understand that not forgiving yourself is the harshest criticism, and that nobody in your life will be able to love you until you forgive yourself for being human. Embrace your perfectly flawed self; it’s what makes the world so beautifully diverse and interesting.

2. Understanding that not your weight, nor your hair color, nor your choice of clothing, nor the funny way your stomach rolls when you slouch down makes you any less attractive than anybody else. There is not only one way to be beautiful, and loving yourself means realizing your own beauty for what it is, not in the context of how you look compared to anyone else (especially the nauseatingly perfect people in magazines).

3. That you have the choice to do what you love or to continue living a life being submissive to the expectations put on you. Loving yourself means understanding what makes your soul happy, and doing that thing as frequently as you’re able. Regardless of how much money you make, regardless of who judges you for it, and regardless of whether or not you’re wildly successful doing it. All you need to be successful is the knowledge that you are doing what you love most.

4. That not everyone will love you, and that not everybody has to. If you are being true to yourself, and somebody has a problem with that, that is their negative energy to deal with, not yours. Loving yourself means knowing that you will never have the love, praise and approval of absolutely everybody you meet, but that doesn’t reflect anything about who you are.

5. Understanding that you have to love yourself before you can love anybody else, or before anyone else can love you. A relationship filled with anxiety, self-doubt, insecurity, etc. is headed for Hell, and I don’t think that’s news to anybody. You have to feel worthy of love, and that comes from loving yourself. How is someone else going to think you’re totally awesome when even you don’t think you are? A: they’re not. The greatest thing loving yourself means is that once you do, you’re better equipped to let the world love you as well. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

The People Bringing You Delicious Dairy

A new Thought Catalog series exploring our connection to each other, our food, and where it comes from.

Meet Alise Sjostrom
5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means is cataloged in , , , , , ,
  • http://mandye.com/?p=11312 5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means. | MandyE

    […] (Source) […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on AdrianCharlesHoran and commented:
    Prepare to be inspired:

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2013/04/5-things-%e2%80%9cloving-yourself%e2%80%9d-actually-means/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex […]

  • http://forbiddendistrict.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/561/ Forbidden District
  • http://melissacyj.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/5-things-loving-yourself-actually-means-thought-catalog/ 5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means | Thought Catalog | Mcyj

    […] 5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means | Thought Catalog. […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on fivepaperbears.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on hardlifeandtimesofdavidk.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on how old is your soul and commented:
    stuff I really ought to remember

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on NOT-SO-PERFECT and commented:
    I should love myself more. This is not a perfect world. Things may not turn out just like how you wanted it to be but we should accept what we cannot change and change what we cannot accept. I hope I got that right. Thought Catalog is a must read, indeed! It never failed to inspire me.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Archive of Five.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Everyday Miracles.

  • http://quite-emily.com/2013/04/friday-finds-april-5th-2013/ quite emily :: a semi-daily love- and lifelog

    […] Who You Are and 5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means Both of these articles hit really hard. (#3 and #5 in the latter are very relevant to my life right […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on just someJuan and commented:
    And also this. :)

  • http://pace0flife.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/day-95-how-do-you-measure-your-worth-skills-vs-love/ Day 95: How Do You Measure Your Worth? Skills vs. Love | My Pace Of Life

    […] Now I’ll present one last article that I read a few days ago on one of my favorite blogs, Thought Catalog, that characterizes a huge school of thought these days. Loving yourself and accepting yourself as you are is the best you can do, and is the key to happiness. You don’t need to be successful or rich or in a relationship to be happy – you just need to be yourself, and love yourself! […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on hello..

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on aheavykindoflove and commented:
    Read this and loved it. Wanted to reblog so that I’ll always have it ready to read.

  • http://cindy-ortiz.com/?p=2251 You Are Loved | Cindy Ortiz

    […] 5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means (thoughtcatalog.com) […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on musicisthelove.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on The Friend Project.

  • http://celebratelove.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/who-do-you-love/ Who Do You Love? | Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

    […] BONUS Article: 10 Really Easy Ways You Can Love Yourself More Today! How to Actually Start Loving Yourself, Part One 5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means […]

  • http://acelebrationofwomen.org/2013/12/who-do-you-love%e2%80%8f/ Who Do You Love?‏

    […] BONUS Article: 10 Really Easy Ways You Can Love Yourself More Today! How to Actually Start Loving Yourself, Part One 5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means […]

  • http://checkmates.co.za/index.php?do=/profile-95037/info/ men skin care

    men skin care

    5 Things “Loving Yourself” Actually Means | Thought Catalog

  • https://rawhide.wpengine.com/blog/wellness/love-yourself/ What can you do to Love Yourself?

    […] Learn to forgive yourself. […]

blog comments powered by Disqus