Affirmation – “I love myself unconditionally.”
Oh, this one is a biggie. I’ve struggled with this idea of Self-Love for the longest time. I have disliked and hated parts of me. I always too fat, too short, too shy, too much or too less of everything. I was never satisfied with any aspect of myself. I was never good enough. But, this did change. I am very happy to say that I overcame this just a few weeks back.
It took me one whole year to change self-dislike into self-love. Now, this may seem to be a very long time but years of conditioning take a long time to change. Especially, when you are so critical about yourself. When a small mistake on your part becomes a huge mountain with which you have to deal with. It’s even worse because you created this yourself.
The turning point? It was laughter. Everyone around me really loved the sound of my laughter, even I liked it! I was just sitting in my room one evening and thinking about this. When I instinctively sat up straight turned towards the mirror and started laughing. I laughed for no reason, I laughed till tears rolled down my cheeks, laughed till I was rolling on the floor and continued laughing till I couldn’t laugh anymore. That was liberating. The first time I realized that I did like something about myself, in fact I loved to hear myself laugh. So I sat in front of the mirror determined to find things about myself that I could fall in love with.
I started with my hair – I have really long and thick curly hair. Now that I thought about it, it made me feel like Rapunzel (Ha ha). I had never appreciated that about me, it was one of my best features. Everyone had always told me I had beautiful shaped eyes I was likened to bharatanatyam dancers (an Indian classical dance form) but I never appreciated it until then. Every time I looked in the mirror I found something to appreciate about myself. It was overwhelming. It felt as though I had discovered something very important. And, I had. I discovered myself. I just took the time to look at myself inside and out and I discovered so many lovable attributes which makes me who I am. Me! With all my quirky, craziness and the fact that though I was 22 years old I hadn’t let the child in me disappear teamed up with my ability to laugh at just about anything even adversity. I never appreciated any of this. It was always there but it didn’t conform with society’s idea of how a 20-something adult should be, so I had started to hate the best things about myself. And, for the first time in my life (excluding the times I had bad falls as a kid) I cried. I cried because I had let something as mundane as society determine who and who I shouldn’t be. A society that will always be critical of you no matter how much you change to suit it. You can tear yourself from limb to limb but society will still criticize you and say you could have done more or done it in a better way. Is there a better way to tear yourself limb to limb? Can you do more than that? After I could stop crying, I decided that I would never go back to questioning myself and hating myself.
Here are just a few things that I started doing on a daily basis to start loving myself:
1) I love skirts and dresses, I just think they are so elegant and feminine. I started wearing them everyday and that really helped to change my thoughts about the way I looked. I felt good in them and so I looked good too. I felt beautiful everyday.
2) I wanted to always have toned abs and legs. So I started exercising everyday. I wake up at 4 in the morning so that I can exercise before I leave for my classes. Exercising everyday has improved my mood to such an extent that I go by the whole day without feeling burdened with the amount I have to study. I don’t feel exhausted sitting in a class for over 10 hours listening to lectures.
3) Every night before I sleep I write out all the good things I did throughout the day.
4) When I wake up in the morning I write my Self-Love List. I list 5 things every day.
5) I remove any mascara or eye-liner I wore (That’s the only form of make-up I use) because that small action shows that I love my eyes and that I am grateful for sight.
6) I moisturize after a shower. Now this may seem insignificant but its not. The smallest things you do for yourself send out the most powerful messages.
7) I have a recording of my laughter. This acts as a reminder as to why I started loving myself. I listen to it if I ever feel like I’m falling back into my old ways of criticizing myself.
Small baby steps every day have led me to this point where I can say proudly that I Love Myself. It’s like how Bob Proctor said in ‘The Secret’ – I love myself so much that I want to kiss myself.
I hope that my story inspires you to start loving yourself.
Here’s the link to the affirmation challenge