How to Love Yourself
Aside from frequent bubble baths, of course.
Sometimes you got to indulge yourself. Sometimes it’s okay to have those Pringles, that extra shot, that bubble bath when you should be folding your laundry.
Sometimes it’s okay to cross out something on your list even though you didn’t do it.
Like last week, when instead of journaling away my negative thoughts, I turned to the last two beers in my fridge and watched The Office for the too-many-times-now-it’s-embarrassing.
Was I living my best life in that moment? No. Was it the healthy choice? No, but I also can’t say it was entirely ineffective.
Because not every moment in your life needs be productive. You don’t need to always embody the best version of yourself. No one has that kind of willpower, nor should they. Being perfect would be a bore.
But, there’s other times when you got to get tough with yourself.
I found myself in this situation recently. I looked at my life and wondered where the time went. Somewhere between now and my early 20s I gave up on who I wanted to be.
I’m not talking about material success. I’m talking about generally feeling good about myself, having fulfilling relationships, and accomplishing things that are meaningful to me.
I took full stock of my life and asked myself, “Is this really who you want to be?”
I realized that I had no one but myself to blame for my lack of fulfillment. You get out of life what you put into it.
I’m all for radical self-acceptance, but sometimes if we’re having a hard time accepting ourselves, it might be because we know we can do better.
So while sometimes you have to indulge yourself to cope with the stress of life, other times you got to ask yourself in a kind but firm tone, “Is this all you got?”
Sounds a bit harsh, but I think of it as an act of love now. You wouldn’t want to see your friend or significant other of yours living an unfulfilled, unhappy life.
You could try motivating them by encouraging them and making gentle suggestions on how they could improve their life. But if they’re truly stuck in life, that’s probably not going to be what moves the needle.
I’ve had a sheltered life. No one’s ever given me a proper pep talk or asked me why I’m not giving 100%.
No one’s ever asked me, “Why aren’t you more committed to leading a more meaningful life? Why aren’t you the person you keeping saying you want to be?”
Now that I’ve started giving myself pep talks, I know now what I’m missing.
Giving yourself words of encouragement and taking a break from exerting your willpower is important — but so is giving yourself tough love that challenges your own status quo. Because most likely, no one else will give that to you in a way that will make you listen.
No one but yourself knows your own motivations, your desperate hopes, or your devastating weaknesses. No one else knows what triggers those rare moments of bliss for you, which means no one but you can do what it takes to live a more blissful life.
By telling yourself to do better, that you can do better, is powerful. And since I’ve started doing this, I’ve found myself getting closer to who I want to be.