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.