Yeah, so I’ve started this one about four times and erased every starting line, so consider this as me just doing a cannon ball into the pool…
I believe that every person on the face of this earth goes through some form of an identity crisis at some point in their lives; whether we just call it a little phase, or we consistently struggle with it until something finally changes.
A reality is that there are various reasons that could cause this in a person’s life. Whether it’s consistently receiving criticism from family or peers, or constantly trying to compare oneself to others, etc.
But, let’s get to the meat of the matter…
I find that learning to love YOU is one of the most interesting yet difficult journeys in this life. Learning to love yourself involves:
- Chasing peace of mind
- Separating opinions from facts
- Acknowledging your flaws
- Understanding your emotional triggers
- Sifting through lies to find truth
- Learning to understand that you can’t be all things to all people
- Understanding that you matter too
- Believing that you are valuable
- Learning that you have a voice
- Taking care of the skin you’re in
- Figuring out your personality type
- Challenging yourself
- Figuring out your true passions
- Nurturing your talents and skills
- Learning to manage your finances well
- Taking care of your health
- Staying true to who you are
I can say more but I believe those are some of the most crucial ones, and that any one of these can spiral into detailed instructions.
Funny enough, though, all of these, for me, spiral from the fundamental step of learning how the Ultimate Lover sees you. You see, when you learn how God views you; His beloved… When you learn that Jesus Christ valued you enough to die so that you may be saved and free…When you understand that God knows your heart even better than you and STILL pours out grace and love on you… When you believe that you are special because you were born… that sets a strong foundation for you to build on.
If this omnipotent God can love you through it all…why can’t you learn to love yourself?
Then, it goes a step further. How do you manage how your self-loving (based o the list above) affects others?
I’ll say…intentions and control are two very important notions to understand.
If you, in working on your heart, choose to radiate positive energy instead of negativity, even while you work on your flaws, be proud of that. It’s not saying that you’re perfect, but it’s saying that even when you are wrong, you’re willing to own up to it and set the record straight, as best as you can. That right there is you having good intentions and following through with it. Meanwhile, you don’t always know the intentions of others; whether they mean you well or not.
Then, we get to the concept of ‘control’. I’m still learning that at the end of the day, you CAN’T control how people react to you. No matter the good intentions you have. Because, people are people. Just like you. They are free to react to things and interpret things according to their liking. You actually shouldn’t try to rob another person of their individuality just because YOU want them to see YOU in a certain light. I’ve learnt that it’s actually quite selfish and controlling. On the flip side, it would be in your best interest to work on having self-control, and learning how to control how you react when others don’t give you a desired response.
So then, where does the understanding and application of these notions leave you? Well…in peace, actually.
When you are able to feel free to be you, accepting that you’re not perfect, but still working toward being a positive person and striving to make purposeful steps in your life…while giving others the freedom to be themselves just as you desire, I find that there’s a unique equilibrium that’s set.
When you learn to love yourself – or even along the journey, you’ll find that you’ll be even more empowered to soar and achieve your goals. That’s because you’re not constantly bombarded by fear of opinions, doubt in your appearance, and more. Then, you’ll find that there’s a certain boldness that comes with that comfort of being who you are. Not a cockiness that can’t be tamed. It’s an acceptance of just who you are, and an understanding of purpose tat automatically shines.
I’ll say too that even if you’re not there yet…the important thing is that you’re willing to take the journey – because it’s so worth it.
If you’re not on the journey yet and this piece hasn’t quite convinced you, I’m going to leave you with this inspiring Instyle Magazine Article on Serena Williams. I’ve been following her journey among others both here in Jamaica and overseas, and having read it this morning – especially since I’ve been on the self-love journey – I believed that I should definitely share it, and include some of my own learned perspectives.
I know that on one end, this piece can just sound quite idealistic, and void of the everyday challenges. But, from experience, I believe that the principles still stand firm for someone who is intent on changing their life and the perspective on how they view themselves.
I truly hope you’ll consider loving yourself into boldness. It’s a journey you’ll never regret taking.
Till next time.