What does ‘loving yourself’ really mean? This was a question I asked myself after a painful breakup, after I got my heart completely shattered, and after I changed my career trajectory to follow what I believed, rather than what the people around me suggested. Over the last few years I’ve asked myself this quite often, honestly. Because truthfully who we are is always changing, especially as life brings us both beautiful and terrible things.
Loving yourself is about understanding who you are—a multi-dimensional, complex person—and that you won’t always be perfect, but you are still worthy. You won’t always stay the same, but there are still so many parts and pieces of you that are unique, and special, and yours.
Regardless of the journey you’re on or the state of your heart right now, I hope these words bring you encouragement. When you start loving yourself instead of abandoning your well-being amidst pain, you’ll find so many simple and wonderful things will come your way.
1. You look in the mirror, and smile.
2. You appreciate that little birthmark on your cheek, the wrinkle above your eyelid, and all the small things you used to label as blemishes or imperfections.
3. You wiggle your toes and marvel at the simplicity of something that not all people can do.
4. You pull out those heels you tucked in the back of your closet, and you rock them.
5. You admire your hands and what a blessing it is to hold others in yours.
6. You notice your leg muscles and walk with pride.
7. You try a new hairstyle.
8. You sing along to a song on the radio without wondering what anyone thinks.
9. You take a post-workout selfie with confidence. You are now working out because you love your body, not hate it.
10. You take an all-natural, no-filter selfie and post it on Instagram.
11. You realize that regardless of your makeup, or style, you are beautiful. And so are the people around you.
12. You admire your curves in the mirror.
13. You smile. More often, and at random things.
14. You laugh because life just makes you do that sometimes.
15. You make a list of all you want to accomplish.
16. You breathe deeply, centering your heart back on your goals.
17. You decorate your room, or your journal, or the empty wall in your bedroom, just because.
18. You call a loved one and fill their day with happiness.
19. You give something away because it fells good to give.
20. You hum your favorite song.
21. You go on a walk or run.
22. You open your windows, and invite the sun in, even if it’s cold.
23. You start to see your natural beauty.
24. You organize your closet.
25. You write down a positive quote.
26. You nod at your reflection.
27. You think of what you’re thankful for.
28. You feel genuine happiness.
29. You let go of pain.
30. You see how beautiful your life can be, if you let it.
Featured Image Credit: Priscilla du Preez