Okay, when we say “love yourself” we are not talking about narcissism or an over-inflated ego. What we’re talking about here is a solid understanding of who you are and what you bring into your relationships. An appreciation and healthy respect for all you are and what you are able to share with another. A quiet confidence in all of your positive qualities and an acceptance of your flaws. Without self-love, you become adrift and will suffer from unnecessary doubts and fears. You will not be able to fully, authentically share yourself in a loving relationship, nor will you be able to receive love fully.
One of the most attractive qualities a person can possess is confidence. Not ego-driven confidence, but confidence that comes from knowing who you are and being comfortable in your own skin. Truly appreciating and accepting yourself. A confidence that cannot be shaken by the opinions of others. When you love and accept yourself you will have this type of confidence and others will gravitate to you. So how can you build your confidence and create self acceptance and greater self-love? Well, it takes some introspection and hard work, but it is well worth the effort.
First, are you aware of what you genuinely like about yourself? Are you are confident, funny and intelligent? Or perhaps kind, generous and loving? Terrific! It’s great to appreciate your finer qualities and know what you bring to any relationship. Yet, just as important is the process of recognizing the flip side to your better qualities. That is to say that we all have faults, bad habits or negative orientations to situations that others may not like. Perhaps the same confident, funny, intelligent person is at times also insensitive or overbearing? Or perhaps though kind, generous and loving you may be shy or anxious ? No problem, we all have fears and bad habits–its part of life. But, to truly find acceptance for yourself and begin to love yourself fully, it helps to embrace all positive qualities and recognize the less-than-positive qualities yet still be accepting of both. Honesty with yourself really is the best policy.
No amount of denial will erase fears or bad habits that will require a leap of faith and some serious effort to overcome. Don’t hide from areas you wish to improve or fears that plague you. Face them head-on as much as possible whenever possible. Over time, with practice you can overcome fears and bad habits. It is a process of recognition, a refusal to reinforce negative qualities with negative thoughts, a habit of creating positive thoughts and an appreciation of the time and healing and acceptance of self and forgiveness of others.
There really is no perfect person, no matter how amazing they seem. Accepting your entire package (and others) is the key. This is achieved by appreciating and embracing your positive qualities while having a willingness to recognize and work out those fears, habits, qualities you are not satisfied with. Life is a journey of awareness, experience, growth and acceptance. Never forget while on your journey, you are beautiful, valuable and worthwhile every step of the way. You are a gift. Surround yourself with others that recognize the best in you and appreciate you for all you offer, while at the same time are willing to forgive, overlook or help you with your personal and life challenges. When you are your best self and practice self-love you will have more to offer everyone in you life and will experience your best relationships.
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