“Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable, you are you, I am I…”

Osho

To love yourself is to be mesmerized by the beauty of your existence. It is about teaching others how to treat you by showing them how you treat yourself. It is about looking after your mind, your body and your soul. It is knowing that you are the best thing since sliced bread.

Self-love is not a sin. It is not the same as being vain or shallow. It is not based upon your physical appearance, or what you have accomplished or what people think of you. It is the recognition of your light and self-worth.

There is this Latin maxim us lawyers often use “Nemo dat quod non habet” which means you cannot give what you do not have. In order words, you cannot properly love others where you do not love yourself. Thus, the strength of relationships is built on self-love.

Today, it is so easy to get caught up and feel insecure in our digital age of perfectionism. We make comparisons and beat ourselves up over our “flaws”.

In many situations, people postpone and put conditions on self-love – such as achieving a particular feat, losing or gaining weight, getting a particular job or earning a particular amount, and we tell ourselves “I would love myself more when I lose some weight or gain some weight or get that job or earn that amount or get a partner”. Most times, we seek external love or validation in order to feel better about themselves. The sad part is that no amount of likes on social media will suffice if you do not like yourself for who you are. No number of “you are beautiful” will complete you if you do not truly believe that you are beautiful in every sense of the word.
We often complain about how unconditional love is hard to come by, but how do we expect other people to love us unconditionally where we do not love ourselves unconditionally.
Here are steps you can take towards building your self-love:

Acceptance: You have to embrace every cell of your unique package. You need to learn to love the totality of who you are, the good, bad, lovable and those parts you believe are unlovable. I say learn because this is a conscious choice you have to make every day until it becomes a part of you.

Positive affirmations: You would be shocked at the power of self-affirmations. Self-affirmations beats the inner bully and fights negative thoughts. Whatever compliments you think you need to hear from others, whatever validation you need from another human being, write it down and speak it to yourself. At first you might not believe it, but keep at until it becomes a part of you. With self-love, what you desire on the outside, you must first see within.

Be the best version of yourself: It is healthy to admire other people but desiring to be just like them is not okay. While loving yourself, you need to work on being the best version of you that has walked the surface of this earth. Be the best you can be physically by exercising and eating right. Be the best you can be mentally by constantly striving to improve yourself intellectually, the best you that there is spiritually by continuously building your relationship with God, your creator. You can be both a masterpiece and work in progress simultaneously.
An attitude of gratitude: Learn to give yourself a pat on the back from time to time. Learn to celebrate yourself. Learn to clap for yourself even when no one else is clapping. Keep a gratitude journal and write down one thing you are grateful for each day. Live in an attitude of gratitude and hear people ask if you have changed your lotion. No baby, it is gratitude and it is free.

No bad vibes: Stay away from negative people and situations that make you feel less or bad about yourself. You can adopt the mechanism of loving people from a distance. Surround yourself with positive minded people that uplift you. Release yourself from people-pleasing mentality and embrace the fact that you will never be everyone’s cup of tea, and that is totally cool. There will only be a problem where you are not your own cup of tea.
There is too much negativity and instability in the world for you to look to it for happiness and love. One day they love you, the next day not as much. On both days, you need to fortify yourself with so much love that nobody’s perception of you is ever enough to break you.

Jennifer Kaja

Founder the Not Just A Pretty Face Organization.

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