Let’s be honest about our society. We live in a world that vilifies self-love and cherishes humility. This stems back to the times of Ancient Greece where, above all, the lessons from the gods were to avoid hubris (excessive pride). We’re never thin enough, smart enough, rich enough; we’re in a constant state of apologizing, sugar-coating, and over-thinking. We’re labeled as hypersensitive when we express our wants and needs. We’re selfish if we need to stop taking care of others and care for ourselves.
This thinking needs to stop. Now.
I’m not going to say that you’re perfect as you are, because you’re not. I’m not. No one is. We are human. We will always have aspects that we know we need to work on; this is the beauty of humanity. Our imperfections give us goals, purpose, a meaning to existence. Continue to work on yourself, but love who you are right here and right now.
Maybe you’re not the person you once were. Maybe you’ve put on a few (ahem, or more than a few) pounds, maybe you haven’t advanced in your career, maybe you’re unhappy being single, or unhappy in your relationship. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But guess what? You are wiser, you are more experienced, you have made good choices. Maybe you’re even thinking, “well, I didn’t make good choices or I wouldn’t be…” False. You’ve made good choices because you’re sitting here, alive and reading, right now.
Stop punishing yourself for what should have or what could have been. You’re on your journey, and that journey is not meant to be easy. As Dr. Thomas Foster says, “Every trip [and life is a trip] is a quest, and every quest is about self-discovery.” You deserve that vacation, that raise, that luxurious item. You deserve to enhance every moment with delights.
Stop the nonsensical thinking of “guilty pleasure.” Pleasures are not meant to create guilt. I’m not advocating complete hedonism, don’t run and quit your job this second, but you need to start understanding that you are your number one priority. Of course you have family, career, pets, and a million other responsibilities, but unless you are taking care of yourself, you cannot take care of anything else. Think of airline instructions – they always tell you to put your oxygen mask on before you assist others – you know why? Because if you don’t have oxygen, you will pass out, and not be helpful at all.
Give yourself time to breathe.
You need to start seeing the positive aspects of you. When you are confident in who and what you are, the world around you receives that positivity, and it becomes part of your aura. Lynne Malcolm of ABC writes: “A growing body of research is showing that positivity has knock-on effects that can help humans flourish in all areas of life.” There are only gains to be made with appreciating who you are. Life, and it’s tumultuous rollercoaster, knocks us around enough, you don’t need to be a part of that deafening crowd.
So today, I challenge you to indulge yourself, and it can be just a little to start. Take a bubble bath, buy that luxurious cream, style up your home, catch a nap, read your novel, eat that piece of chocolate. Don’t let today become the yesterday you’ll never be able to change. Let today be the day you surround yourself in moments of joy. Let today be the day you begin to understand that this is your beautiful life, and you deserve to live it, just as you are.
Love Yourself Unconditionally.