Why Is It So Hard To Love Ourselves

Why Is It So Hard For Us To Love Ourselves?

There is something about our society that over time has shown women that they have to be nurturers or caregivers.  This not only gives women a skewed self worth ideal, but also sets them up for years of self sabotage for not being enough to someone else. 

The opposite is true of how, for years, society has set up men for emotional failure.  For men, they are seen as weak or as less than if they show any emotions at all. 

Both of these stereotypical ideals of what people are supposed to be and strive for, sets both genders up for burnout, isolation, and a sense of failure.

How do we fight against this?  Self love is a good place to start.  It is easy to say, “love yourself” and one of the hardest challenges a person can face.  Childhood obstacles and trauma, unrealistic expectations of perfection, and measuring people by Hollywood standards make looking yourself in the mirror and saying “I like who I see,” let alone, “I love myself,” an uphill battle.

Where can one begin fighting against this near impossible challenge?  Small steps are the best way to attack any journey or mountain that seems too big to undertake. 

Make a list of things you like or admire about yourself.  Even if there is only one item on your list, start there.  Do more of whatever it is that makes you feel that positive way about yourself.  If you are proud of your artistic ability, then take a small amount of time each and every day to do something artistic.

If you think you have beautiful hair, then make sure to pamper yourself with special shampoo or a salon visit more often than you have been doing.

Whatever it is that is on your list, embrace it and celebrate it.  Once you start focusing on the good things you view about yourself, and feeding into that feeling about you, it will grow and branch out.  After a while you will start to see that maybe you have other things you like about yourself too. 

The second step to loving yourself is to begin to have compassion for you as you are right now.  So many people say “I would be happy if only…” about themselves or who they are.  It is an incredibly hard thing to think about yourself and have compassion for who you are right now this minute.  The reason for this is because we have unrealistic expectations about ourselves, so much moreso than we do of anyone else. 

Think of something you don’t like about yourself, whether it is your body-shape, or your inability to be as strong or as smart as you think you should be.  Now imagine your very best friend has those same qualities, I bet you would love them exactly as they are in whatever body, or abilities they have, because you see their worth, not for their body or the capabilities, but because of who they are.  Try turning that lens towards yourself.

Loving yourself and what makes you special and a unique individual is a wonderful way to fill your tank for the hard things you have to do every day.

Self Love

So much of society today is based around love, the search for love, finding the perfect love, but the basis for all love in this world should start with self love.  Self love and self care are important aspects of living an emotionally healthy life.  Unfortunately society has taught us that putting ourselves and our own needs as a priority is “selfish” and not the right way to live.

It is important in the hectic day to day way we live now as a culture to realize that if we only focus on others we tend to burn ourselves out.  We cannot constantly be giving and loving to others without first loving and caring for ourselves if we want any long term balance.

Think of it as burning an oil lamp constantly without ever thinking about a need to refill it.  It will eventually run out and you will be left in darkness.

There are many ways you can give love to yourself, such as meditation, journaling, yoga, Reiki, and massage.  But instead of focusing on a one time gift to yourself, try having a self love practice every day.  You don’t have to take hours out of your day to do it, if you practice it more often.  And as with anything, the more you practice, the easier it will become.

The first thing to remember, no matter what way you choose to feed your soul, is that you must start with compassion for yourself.  This can be very difficult.  For many people we are taught that we are not worthy unless we are giving to others, or unless we are “proving” our worth by some kind of activity or action.

This is not true.  You are worthy of love and compassion just for being you.  As you are in this moment, without having to do anything or be any certain way, you are worthy of love and happiness.

Even if you don’t “believe it” in your heart, behave like you do and it will come eventually.  There is a reason “fake it till you make it,” is an important mantra.  It won’t take long if you truly give love to yourself before you will begin to believe you truly do deserve it.

Everyone is unique, so your version of self love and self care might look different that the next person’s.  What you choose as your self-love activity isn’t as important as the way it makes you feel.  Choose anything you like to do, go to the movies, listen to an album, read a book, as long as it makes you feel, happy, calm, relaxed or fulfilled.  Any of these emotions will start to refill your tank.  The important thing is that you seek out activities on a regular basis that make you laugh, or relax the tension in your shoulders, something that challenges your mind, or calms it, whichever is the most fulfilling thing for you.

The more you make yourself a priority, the more energy you will have for everything and everyone else.

What Is Self Love

It’s hard to overstate the importance of self-love. Caring for oneself is often overlooked in the rush to care for everything else around us, but it’s critical that we all take time to nourish and protect ourselves. Proper self-love makes you a stronger and more capable person so you can better serve others as well.

What Is Self-Love

Self-love is an appreciation for yourself that’s nourished through activities that support your physical, mental, and spiritual health. This love of self requires a supportive inner voice, realistic expectations of oneself, and mindful care that nourishes rather than harms.

How to Self-Love

There are many ways that you can practice self-love. Seek those actions that help you feel peaceful, supported, and strong. Some examples of self-love activities include:

  • Enjoying a healthy diet.
  • Bathing and grooming oneself with care.
  • Scheduling regular health care appointments.
  • Creating a soothing living space.
  • Setting boundaries for people or activities that harm us.
  • Engaging in supportive social interactions.
  • Taking quiet moments for meditation or mindfulness.
  • Buying only the things you love and discarding those you don’t.

Self-Love Affirmations

Self-love affirmations are statements that you repeat to yourself often to reaffirm important truths. Some affirmations that you might try include:

  • I am worthy of joy and love.
  • I love my body and everything it does for me.
  • I grow and learn every day.
  • I will not apologize for being me.
  • I love and accept myself unconditionally.

Write your chosen affirmation on a piece of paper and tape it to the mirror, your car’s visor, the refrigerator door, and anywhere else you’re likely to see it throughout the day. Repeat your affirmation daily until it’s firmly ingrained as a core belief.

Practicing self-love will give you a strong foundation that you can lean on in times of trouble and build on as you manifest the life of your dreams.

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