Loving yourself doesn’t mean you’re happy with every single aspect of your face, body, and personality. It doesn’t mean you are immune to self-consciousness and insecurity. It doesn’t mean you look in the mirror and think your reflection is a work of art.
Loving yourself simply means you respect yourself. It means you accept yourself. It means you take good care of yourself.
Even once you reach a state where you can confidently say you love yourself, you’re not going to feel great about yourself every single day. There are going to be days when you complain about a pimple or a mole or a little extra weight. There are going to be days when you’re tempted to cancel plans because you don’t feel like leaving the house looking the way you do. There are going to be days when you erase every selfie you take. And that is natural.
Loving yourself is not a linear journey. Even once you grow to appreciate yourself, you are still going to have rough days. There area still going to be moments when you question your worth. There are still going to be times when you wish you looked like someone else or wish you had what they do.
But when you practice self-love you will be able to bounce back from those questions pretty fast. You will only feel insecure for a short while before realizing your worth again, before recognizing your beauty again, before being thankful you’re you again.
Loving yourself does’t mean you’re suddenly happy with every photograph taken of you. It doesn’t mean you’re unable to see a single flaw on your body. It means you realize it’s okay you’re imperfect. It’s okay to be human.
Loving yourself has less to do with the way you look and more to do with the way you treat yourself.
When you hate yourself, you get into a bad habit of punishing yourself. You don’t think you’re worth being spoiled. You don’t think you’re worth the time and money it takes for therapy — or even a manicure. But when you love yourself, you start to consider yourself a priority. You start surrounding yourself with more positive people. You start to realize pampering yourself isn’t selfish. It’s deserved.
At first, you might feel funny putting aside time for yourself, but you’re supposed to take good care of your mind. You’re supposed to take good care of your body. You’re supposed to make sure you’re okay before worrying about anyone else.
Instead of preaching to your friends about how they should treat themselves with more kindness, lead them by example. Show them you’re following your own advice — otherwise why would they listen to you?
If you’ve been having a hard time learning to love yourself, it’s important to remember the goal isn’t to consider yourself the sexiest person in the world. The goal is to consider yourself a person of value. The goal is to consider yourself someone strong, intelligent, and beautiful inside and out.