“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” – Ernest Hemingway
I’ve come to the realization that loving yourself is truly essential to your divine happiness. Recognizing your individual worth can sometimes seem impossible. We pay attention to how others treat us. We notice the things people say about us and for some reason we take them seriously. We may allow others to define who we are as an individual and that’s completely backwards and absurd; it’s not about what they call you, it’s what you answer to. We were all born with an impeccable individual worth that cannot be redefined or taken away by any sort of outside force.
Often, I notice that the concept of who I am through my own eyes can become depleted when I invest myself into relationships. When I get into a relationship I try to be everything that my significant other could ever want. I try to strengthen myself and emulate what they believe the epitome of a perfect girlfriend is…I lose myself. I lose who I am. I have invested so much love in them that I put loving myself second. Sometimes I notice this same issue when I’m investing myself into society. I’m trying to help everyone I encounter, I’m trying to do community service, I’m trying to follow the commandment that tells us to “love thy neighbor as thyself”…But that’s just it. We are told to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, not love our neighbor MORE than ourselves. By forgetting to love yourself, you place your soul in the backseat and allow someone else to drive your car, your life, where they want it to go. That is not how things were intended to go for us.
The root of your happiness must be found within yourself. A tree has roots that go deeply within the ground, they are the foundation that keeps the tree alive. If a person came to chop down the tree, ultimately the tree would still stand due to it being deeply rooted. We need to be as the tree. We need to be able to stand our ground and retain our happiness regardless of things from the outside. We should be able to be happy regardless of the people who come to take our leaves or chop down our tree. Our happiness is ultimately deeply rooted within ourselves and if we can realize that we have control over one thing, ourselves, we can take our focus off of the minuscule things in the passing.
In Texas, its illegal to pick bluebonnets. Because of this, it’s worth is so great. Imagine your worth in relation to a field of bluebonnets. You’re like a beautiful, blossoming field of these cherished flowers. If you were to allow anyone to come and pick flowers whenever they pleased, the value of your bluebonnets might seem less valuable in the eyes of others. This perception might alter the way you feel about yourself. You are not a flower to be picked. Your flowers need to be guarded. Your flowers cannot be bought because they’re simply invaluable. When you can truly comprehend your worth, you’ll understand that random people should not be given the opportunity to stroll into your field to pick as they please. You need to protect each and every flower, because ultimately each flower is essential in the greater picture. You are so precious. Your heart, your soul, your mind…all of these things act as flowers in your life and they’re all so precious. They belong to you and no one is entitled to them. A day will arrive when you meet someone who doesn’t just want to come and take a flower from you. There will be someone who won’t just walk into your life and take what they want from you just to leave you empty-handed. There will come a day when someone comes into your life with the desire to water your bluebonnets. Not only will they take care of the flowers you currently have, but they’ll want to help you plant more. They’ll want to plant their flowers next you and live happily with you forever. It’s very essential to notice those people who walk into your life just to pick a flower and depart. It’s very essential to prevent those people from even coming to your field, and kicking them out when you recognize how toxic they are to you. It’s extremely essential that you keep around those people who want to help you build and don’t need to break you down in the process of being with you. When you see yourself as the precious person you are, you’ll notice how your decisions begin to change. You’ll begin to protect yourself in a different way because you know what you deserve and you will refuse to settle for less.
Coming to the realization that there is this greatness within you can come as a struggle for some. Some of us look at all the terrible things we’ve done in life and assume that because we’ve been imperfect, we are worthless. Don’t ever think that your worthiness defines your worth. If you find your field empty of bluebonnets because you’ve given them all away, please don’t be afraid to restart. Have courage to create a better you for tomorrow. There might be a ton of damage to repair, but it’s completely achievable. Gather up the seeds you need and replant your flowers to make them better than they were before.
I believe that self-worth works hand in hand with loving yourself. Think about the person in your life that you just adore. You love them so much you would literally do whatever you could to make them happy and comfortable in their circumstances. How come it’s so difficult for us to look at ourselves the same way? You may think that loving yourself is narcissistic and arrogant, but I would have to disagree (now when you begin to put others down to feel good about yourself, that’s a different story). In order to love yourself, you have to notice yourself. When you love others you compliment them, you take time to admire them, you see their accomplishments and praise them. Do this to yourself. When I really decided that I was going to fall in love with myself in order to be happy and content with who I was as a person, there were a few things I did that helped that I’d like to share.
- Capitalize on the things you’re good at. Write down your strengths and your greatest accomplishments in your life, then post them to your mirror so you can remind yourself just how incredible you are.
- Make a list of times when you were strong. By doing this, you remind yourself just how strong you really are. You remind yourself that you got through these times when you thought it was impossible. It’ll allow you to believe in yourself and face trials with more confidence.
- Make commitments with yourself and keep them. I noticed that trusting yourself was very essential to loving yourself. I created a code of ethics for myself and promises that I would always keep to take care of myself.
- Take time to be completely alone. By being alone, you allow your mind to adjust to the concept of isolation. You become comfortable with being alone. It allows you to be less dependent on others and more dependent on yourself for your wellbeing.
- Find who you want to be. Sometimes we want to love ourselves but we realize that we don’t even know who we are. It’s always okay to start over. Figure the kind of person you want to become, the traits you want to obtain, and write them down. Look at them everyday and tell yourself “Today I will be patient” or “Today I will be happy”. Be reiterating these traits of who you want to become everyday, you will eventually become this desired person.
- Create a set of daily affirmations. This set of affirmations will be a set of compliments you give yourself everyday (e.g. I am valuable, I am beautiful).
- Create a list of your future goals for your life and acknowledge your success. Personally, when I envision where I am going, it allows me to focus on creating the best me I can everyday. This gives me a sense of self-worth. I’m able to feel accomplished when I can cross off a goal that I’ve reached. It also empowers me to be positive and efficient throughout my day. When you finally reach a goal, don’t forget to reward yourself (whatever that may be). By rewarding yourself, you positively reinforce the situation and you’ll be more successful in the future.
To those of you feeling belittled by life due to your physical appearance, don’t. Don’t allow the negative voices within your head to have power over you. Remember that there is so much more to you than what you look like. Beauty from within is amongst one of the most powerful forces that we have to offer. When you meet a beautiful person from within, their beauty shines through their pores and lights up the room. Allow the twinkling of your spirit to be shown through your eyes. Allow your beauty from within to shimmer. Don’t allow society to define what beauty is. Don’t allow society to tell you how to feel about yourself. I can assure you that each and every one of you have been embedded with a touch of beauty at birth. When you find that beauty from within, embrace it, love it, and cherish it.