It really baffles me how the further into life I go, the more of my most gorgeous and most admired girlfriends come out with low self-esteem issues.
It scares me as I am someone who is often regarded as really happy, really lucky and I think I am, as much as I can be. I try to squeeze everything I can out of life, I try to make it more exciting when things are getting grim. But I could never say that my life is super-happy, it is so far away from those happy girls on instagram who #lovelife.
I must mention, I’m not stupid – I know a lot of it is fake and hyped-up. But those words don’t really make me feel better. When it used to be just celebrities in magazines and on TV it was fine. But now it’s ‘real’ people. People like you and me, but the difference is they’re uber happy.
And I feel awful, because I come across as if I’m complaining. All I want to say is that firstly, I want to be honest about how I feel. Secondly, I believe this topic is still not discussed loud enough. And lastly, it helps to feel like I’m not alone, when I read other bloggers’ posts, so hopefully I can help someone feel better too.
I struggle with self-love quite a bit. It's so difficult sometimes, that I don't even admit to myself that I need to love myself more, because I don't deserve even my own love. Ouch!
But the truth is, who will ever be able to love us if we don't love ourselves? If you love yourself, you'll have rays of confidence streaming out of you and you will attract love from other people. And I understand that, which is why my main goal for 2015 is to love myself. I know that there are a lot of people who struggle with it, so I wanted to share the main things that I will be focusing on.
Some of these I already do and they help me feel better about myself - good old sense of achievement. And the other I really struggle with and I battle through my days trying to get better at it.
Your body is the ONLY tangible thing you actually have. Everything else does not actually belong to you, it is all temporary. Care about it. Don't put crap into it, eat the right things, listen to what your body wants and needs. Try eating healthy for a week, drink loads of water and listen to your body's happiness, accept it's gift of energy and vitality in return. You will know what I mean once you try it.
Get outside, move a little. The more you move the more energy you'll have. Strengthen your body, make yourself invincible.
I used to be the child who would get ill every couple of weeks. I always had the weakest immunity system and every single illness would just come on board without any warning. I remember multiple times in front of the mirror with tears in my eyes as I had to spray iodine onto my bubbly agonising throat to finally heal it. I remember having all these weird illnesses which were all caused by a low immunity system. And you have no idea how liberating it is to finally be fit, to be strong and realise that everyone around you is having all these sick-bugs, sniffles and colds and I can be near them, hug them, kiss them and remain healthy. It helps me to feel strong and powerful.
--- Feelings aren't right or wrong. They just are.
If you consider a feeling to be wrong, in addition to that feeling you will get the sense of guilt. If you're angry and you think it's wrong you might think you should feel sorry. But you cannot just swap your feelings. They're real and need to be felt, don't let anyone blame you for feeling something. Acknowledge the feeling, let it be felt and get on.
At the same time, don't hold on to anger for too long - when you're angry, the only one affected is you. The other person might not even know it. Do not pollute your soul and be mindful. This has some nice, different ways to deal with anger.
--- Love yourself, just the way you are, regardless of what other people might say.
I've read a really interesting way of discovering that criticism is completely subjective. It's a group exercise where everyone sits in a circle and each person attempts to free themselves from a number of negative traits or swap them over. If anyone objects and tells you that they like that trait of yours, you are allowed to keep it and have an approval that it's not necessarily a bad trait.
For instance, someone wants to get rid of their shyness and humbleness, while someone else asks if they could take it as they are are hyper-active. Someone else might want to get rid of their sense of guilt, while another person might like some of that as they feel like they are too egoistic.
It shows how it's important to analyse yourself and understand your personality. Maybe the traits you have are not as bad as you see them? There is no benefit in hating yourself and constantly being disappointed with your ways.
--- Surround yourself with love.
This one is completely overused, but have a good look at the people who surround you. It's important to assess how much you give in relationships as opposed to how much you receive. You have to admit to yourself that it's only worth keeping the relationships that are symmetrical.
--- And most importantly, see the happy side of things.
You can either complain that there are thorns on roses, or be happy that such thorny bushes bear something as beautiful as roses. When you're happy, you'll attract the happiness around you and you'll spiral upwards with it. There is always something great to be happy about, it's as simple as that.