“Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that’s when you’re most beautiful.” ~ Zoe Kravitz
Did you grow up in a household that hurt you and punished you as you grew up?
Were your feelings tossed aside? Your confidence shattered? Your self-worth destroyed?
Were you put down, beaten down with negativity and criticism and made fun of by the very people who were supposed to have loved you?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re likely living a life today that is filled with self-doubts, low self-esteem and an inability to value yourself.
“If the people who were to love me didn’t love me, how can I love myself?” you’re asking.
“How can I accept and be compassionate to myself when my family wasn’t accepting or compassionate of me?”
You, and I do have a certain power. Our power of choice. Our power to choose love over our suffering. Our power to choose today over what happened to us. Our power to love ourselves more intimately than feeling self-loathing we may experience.
Here are 9 compassionate reminders to love and appreciate yourself.
1. You were born of love.
You may have to go back to a time you don’t remember: birth. It was during this time in your life that you were in the most loved state of being. You gave love and received unconditional love. You were loved for simply being you. Think about how you treat babies today. You see their affection, love, and joy in being alive. They radiate love. You also, at birth, radiated love and were filled with light. You were born of love so remember that that unconditional and complete love always lies within you.
No matter what anyone told you in your life, remember that you are complete. Others in your life, even your parents or loved ones, may have unleashed a torrent of criticism and negativity towards you previously. They didn’t know any better. They were likely raised the same way. You might have believed what they said: you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy or you’re not smart enough. Whatever it is your parents said to you, remember it’s not true. You don’t lack anything. You’re doing the best you can every day. You are 100% complete. You have everything you need within you. You are filled with divinity and have no lack.
3. You are needed to make a difference.
Your pains hurts and life journey is what make you uniquely you. Not only are you unique but your life story is directly related to your purpose in the world. If you’ve ever felt unwanted or like your life doesn’t mean anything, you’re wrong. Your exact life journey has prepared you to serve some way. You are here to help others on their path. You are here to guide and mentor someone that has gone through something similar as you. Your story has given you the compassion and empathy to be the light for others who are in pain and filled with self-loathing.
4. You have love, compassion, and abundance within.
You may have been told that you’re not a very good person. You may have been told that you disappointed the very people you love the most. You may have been called names, compared to your siblings or even made fun of physically. It’s hard to believe that you’re a love-filled being when you’ve absorbed so much contrary information. The truth is you do have love, compassion, and abundance within you. You were born with it and you’ve tapped into at many points in your life. Your challenge is to work past the negative thoughts and self-defeating beliefs to access the love that’s already within. Use affirmations, journaling, counseling if necessary, and self-care to access all these qualities residing within you. You have a reservoir of love within waiting for you.
5. You can shift your perspective to love in every circumstance.
Every situation you look at gives you two choices: love or fear. You can see the world through the eyes of love and kindness or through hate and fear. You get to pick. If you’ve had a hard time difficult time loving yourself, you’ll often choose hate and fear. The way to work around this is to be aware of this tendency. When a challenging situation comes up, actively shift your perspective towards the more loving and holy one. What is the good in this situation? How is this situation going to benefit you? What is the lesson here? What are you grateful for? When you focus on the positive, you allow love to win each time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or spiritual, you likely have one belief in common which is that there is spirit or divinity all around you. You believe that the universe is all-loving, all supportive and filled with goodness. If this is the case, then remember that you too are in that universe. You are a speck of water in the glass of divinity, which means that you too are good, loving, and divine. You are made up of the larger fabric of the universe. As a particle in the universe, you are sacred. You embody the greater love of the universe. Your love is within you, not outside of you.
7. You can share the love you give to others with yourself.
Not only is the love within you but you’re in the habit of sharing your love with others. You know how to give love. You may not be very good at giving it to yourself but you do know how to love others. Often, this is the problem. You love without conditions, without reservation and go all in on love. Now, you just have to make a small shift in your mindset about love. Instead of loving another person unconditionally and deeply, use that same energy and principles to love and appreciate yourself. Whatever you do for others, do for yourself. Use those gentle words for you, do nice things for you, praise yourself, give yourself a break.
8. Staying true to who you are is the best way to love and appreciate yourself.
It’s hard to love ourselves because society is often telling us how different we are and how we don’t fit in. Society and our families point out our flaws, our inadequacies, and harp on our shortcomings. The way to break through the noise is to silence the critics. It’s to withdraw from the outside world and spend more time within through nature or silence. It’s to stop listening to outside voices and to stop comparing yourself. It’s trying to get more in touch with the sacred inner voice: your intuition. Listen to yourself more. You know all the answers. You are wise. You are love. You know best for yourself.
9. You can love and transform no matter where you came from.
No matter how badly you grew up or no matter how destructive your environment was, you can love and appreciate yourself. You have it within you to cultivate love for yourself. Self-love is a habit to be built up. It’s accessible to everyone because the love is already there within you. You don’t have to go and get it from somewhere else. As Rumi says, “your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Work on self-love daily. Journal your negative thoughts, surround yourself with supportive people, eat well and take care of your body, be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Be conscious, aware and proactive in loving yourself.
** Have you learned to love and appreciate yourself? How did you do it? Please share in the comments below.