“If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.” – Kristen Chenowith Why is it so difficult to love ourselves? Basically, the short answer to this question is that we were raised in a society that didn’t teach us about self-love. This may not seem very important to some, but self-love is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Loving yourself provides you with self-confidence, self-worth, and in general, you feel more positive. If you can learn to love yourself, you will feel happier and will learn to take better care of yourself.
Looking in the mirror, most of us see a lot of different flaws and remember too many past experiences and failings to love ourselves. The less you love yourself, listen to yourself, and understand yourself, the more confused, upset, and frustrated you will be in life. When you begin to love yourself and continue to love yourself more and more each day, things slowly will be a little bit better in every way possible.
Unfortunately, self-love isn’t always easy.
Accepting the pain and allowing yourself to be honest with who you are is a big step to loving yourself. Forgive yourself for past actions and things you are ashamed of doing.
Carrying a lot of negative emotions like jealousy, disgust, and rage can have a negative impact. We need to learn how to accept not only the emotions that create love, joy, and happiness but also the ones that cause fear, insecurity, and anger in our lives.
While we need to learn how to acknowledge and accept the pain with the love, another step is reconciling with a cold and unopened heart. Asking yourself if you fully love yourself can be very difficult because you must accept your flaws and faults.
Love is something we choose, the same way we choose anger, hate, or sadness. We have the power to forgive someone who has hurt us in the past. We can learn to finally heal from something when we can forgive. We can always choose love.
Learning to love yourself leads to better self-care. Examples of this could be taking a break from time to time and accepting that no one is perfect and things happen.
Another example could be saying no to others when you really don’t have the time or energy to say yes. We often do too much for other people because we want to please everyone. We can forget to look after ourselves and then we become overwhelmed.
Today is the day you can love yourself completely with no expectations. Making the choice right now to choose your own love is the most powerful healing force you have.
This column is written by Jaclyn Durnil, MSW, school social worker for Youth First, Inc., a local nonprofit dedicated to strengthening youth and families. Youth First provides 59 Master’s level social workers to 81 schools in 10 Indiana counties. Over 39,000 youth and families per year have access to Youth First’s school social work and afterschool programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success.