By Sobon Rath.
I’m sitting on a wooden chair on my balcony trying to find motivation to write my first ever blog. I’m stuck. I don’t know what to write so that my audience would find it interesting to read. As I look up to the view in front of me, I saw this beautiful sunset. I love sunsets. There’s something about it that’s so magical, peaceful, and pretty to look at with every shades of color it changes. I wonder, what happens when I love myself just as I love the sunset? What happens when everyone looks at themselves the way they see sunset? Wouldn’t the world be brighter, happier, and less complicated?
That is how “self-love” came into my mind. Growing up, my friends and I have been struggling with this word. This two syllable words are easy to say yet so hard to actually mean it. 90 per cent of my friends are either hating themselves or just do not understand how loving themselves feels like. I’m sure everyone struggles with it from time to time, some struggles with it every day, and some does not even think these words matter at all. So why do we need self-love? Why is it so important that my first blog is about it?
Before going to self-love, let me tell you what does lack of self-love feel like? Have you ever lost yourself and wanted to cry in public when someone was commenting about your weight? Do you hate going to shopping just because you know you would not look good in most of the clothes and hate yourself for being born that way? Have you ever pretending to be sick just so you could not go to family gatherings and hear all those comments about your appearances? Yes, I have. Yes, I did. I know it sounds so extreme but things like that do happen behind closed door and it does matter. We would just smile, laugh and brush it off like it is nothing but deep down, that is how self-hate started. 3 years ago, my self-talks were mostly me saying things to myself like ‘’Why don’t you eat less?’’ ‘’Why are you so stupid? Why are you so terrible at everything you do? ‘’Why aren’t you smart enough?’’ ‘’You’re so hard for anyone to love. Why would anyone want to be with you?’’ Words that you put into your mind reflect your value and worth that sometimes you tolerate disrespect from people because you think it is what you deserve. A friend of mine told me he would hate himself so much for not fitting in the social standards that he would repeatedly think of suicide every week. Another said he became an alcoholic because he wanted to tear himself down by hating the way he is. It does hurt seeing the people you love do that to themselves right? Then why are you doing that to yourself?
One day, I thought to myself that these things people say will not stop. I repeatedly think of how do I stop hating myself. I have come to realize that it is not really about them, it is us who gives the power to those words and to them. Those negative words will keep coming and there is no button to stop it. But there is one thing to help you and me get through this which is self-love.
After years of working on myself, I would love to share what is my idea of self love. Self love isn’t just saying you love yourself. Self-love isn’t really just about pampering yourself. Self love isn’t just buying expensive stuff for yourself. Self-love is so much more than that. It’s when people told you that you have big arms and yet you still wear short sleeves shirts. Self love is when you have breakouts on your face but instead of concealing, you choose to heal yourself from within. Self love is when people told you that you have big thighs and yet you still wear shorts. Self love is when you block all those negative voices and focus only yourself. Self love is when you have a big heart in a world with so little of gratitude and yet you still love unconditionally. Self love is when people told you that you look ugly in photos and yet you look at it thinking “damn I look fabulous.” Self-love is when you see all your flaws and still choose to embrace it. Self-love is when you decide to stand up rather than to stay broken. Self-love is when you walk away from toxic people who constantly drain your energy and just say you deserve more. Self-love is when you see your value and your worth as the same equal human beings who deserve happiness just like everyone else. It’s when you look at yourself in the mirror saying “this is it, this is me and none of those words is going to change me.’’
I know while you were reading this, you hope to see all those steps to help you love yourself more but there is no such thing to measure this ‘self love’. I know you cannot just grab it and put into your heart. It does sound easier said than done but journaling has helped me through this process. I would come home after a long day crying and writing all those things I hate about myself. My journal is an attic full of insecurities, my mistakes, my self-criticism, hurtful things people say, jealousies, anything that affects me mentally. The more I do this, the more I became aware of how awful I treated myself and how I let others treat me. It is a long process of me taking baby steps and communicate to myself that ‘’I do matter. I do care about me.’’ Can you repeat after me right now?
To everyone that is reading this, I wish you good luck on your journey. Be patient, kind and encouraging to yourself just as you would to any of your friends because you can search an entire universe and never find a being more worthy of love than yourself.
Beauty standards can change anytime. Social standards can change any moment. Words can be thrown at you anytime. But my dear, self love stays and it never goes out of fashion.
What is the one thing you love about yourself? I would love to see your comments. The world would be a better place if we all love ourselves, isn’t it?