Ok, I realize that it’s halfway through September but I have been meaning to comment on Tina’s Self Love project over at Faith, Fitness, Fun. If you haven’t checked out her 30 Days of Self-Love, please do so!
I want to take this opportunity to say that I really appreciate all the thought and effort Tina has gone to writing daily posts about being kind to our bodies, our confidence and to realize our true inner beauty. Her thought provoking posts inspire her readers to contemplate and realize the importance of appreciating ourselves as we are not as our friends, media or complete strangers may perceive us to be.
I’ve seen a recent trend in buzzing about self image, building confidence and learning to love ourselves imperfections and all. I totally love it. It is so great to see a community of women building each other up, admitting to constant comparison, jealousy and feeling less than perfect. So, here are a few things that I have reflected upon or learned about self love in all of my 24 years.
You don’t need a man to love you to feel self worth. For a long time, I struggled with needing someone else to think I was special in order to feel special. Truthfully, it led me into some painful relationships and experiences. Once I learned to love myself and who I was, I wasn’t looking for someone to approve of me. When I stopped caring so much about what other people thought about me, I eventually met my husband who loved me for who I was.
Criticism only hurts you. I’m thinking the fact that we compare ourselves to other women goes way back to the cavewoman days. We were in constant competition to “be the best to get the best mate”. Not a day goes by that I don’t think “I don’t like her teeth”, “her thighs are smaller than mine”. We all think it. I think that we always will. But one thing that works for me is when a negative thought creeps in my head, I try to neutralize it with a positive one. “I don’t like her teeth” changes to “She has a warm and friendly smile.” It kind of goes back to the topic above: if you love yourself, it’s easier to love others.
Jealousy has no foundation. Sometimes I find a little green monster (and not the healthy smoothie!) whispering in my ear about what others have that I don’t. The truth is, if you are jealous of someone, then you probably aren’t seeing the whole picture. Everyone has their blessings and their trials. A friend of mine is having her first baby and I couldn’t believe I was jealous. I was so happy and excited for her but it there was definitely a part of me that was feeling a little green. One day we got to talking (venting, really) just about life and the ups and downs and struggles and fears and I realized that she was going through all kinds of things just like I was. Not to say misery loves company. My point is that no matter how perfect and charmed someone might seem, we all have things that we are dealing with.
I could write all day about my struggles and imperfections but I just really wanted to reflect upon just a few things that I had learned from. I was listening to a talk by John Bytheway called Rough Start Great Finish and he mentioned that if we work on those things that we struggle with, we can make them our greatest strengths.
If you’ve been reading Tina’s 30 days of self love, what’s one thing you’ve learned?
When have you turned a struggle into a great strength?