“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” ~Lucille Ball
If you were to ask me ten years ago what self-love meant, I would’ve probably said something general like “being happy.” But self-love goes way deeper than that; it involves accepting the past versions of yourself and your present challenges, while giving yourself credit for how far you’ve come.
While we may have an idea of the “perfect person” we want to be, sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that we forget to appreciate who we are right now. The notion that we won’t be the ideal version of ourselves until we are the ‘right’ weight, have a certain job, or overcome all our personal issues is not serving us.
For years I struggled with my weight and what my “perfect body” would look like. Years of being called fat and being bullied in elementary school had instilled in me that I wasn’t enough.
Even though I was too young to know I wasn’t going to be this way forever, I started a cycle of self-hate.
At around ten years old I was already obsessed with my weight, taking weight loss supplements behind my mother’s back and dreaming of the day I could finally be skinny. The cycle eventually led to binge eating and even more weight gain.
Every time I was able to go a day without eating, I felt powerful, invincible, but this was quickly followed by shame and guilt when I gave in—and I would punish myself by repeating the same cycle. Over and over.
Looking back at my life now, I wish I could’ve just told the younger version of myself to let go of my own expectations and enjoy the innocence of youth.
Self-love is forgiving ourselves for our past mistakes, giving ourselves credit for what we have done, and finding comfort within ourselves during dark times.
I suspect we’ve all been so hard on ourselves for not living up to our own expectations (or others’) that we’ve forgotten to enjoy who we are in the moment. But only the present moment is promised. We don’t know where we will be tomorrow, or if we will even be here.
So, instead of getting too caught up on your past versions, realize that you are the best version of yourself you can be right now. And then commit to loving yourself as you are. Why?
The world deserves all of you—just as you are now.
This is the only guaranteed moment we have. It doesn’t matter if you made a mistake in the past because dwelling does not serve you in the now. Your family, friends, and spouse deserve the…