Loving yourself is as much a journey of getting to know the true you as anything else. It involves a good amount of happy introspection in which you come to terms with your quirks and your passions, and a little bit of facing up to hard facts, too. Being honest with yourself, accepting flaws while celebrating your good aspects, is an important facet of self-love that will give you much-needed clarity with which to consider how you live your life and how you can improve yourself based on what you’ve discovered.
So, where to start? Well, your goal is to know yourself a little better, so that you can love yourself a little better. There are three main areas to this self-honesty: celebrating your brilliance, accepting your mediocrity, and recognizing areas in which you ought to improve.
Celebrating Your Brilliance
In the whole whirlwind process of taking an overview of your life and considering little parts of it with an honest eye, it’s important to strike a balance. Being overly-critical will only lead you to a form of self-hate which will certainly be unfair on yourself, so start with thinking through and making a mental note of all the areas of life you’ve truly excelled in over the past few months.
Maybe you dealt with a break-up with dignity and patience, helped a friend through some hard times, or set aside time to volunteer with a local charity. You might have taken up a great new hobby, begun a new exercise regime, or forced yourself out to a party where you happened to meet a new best pal. You might simply have had a ‘good month.’ The importance is being honest with your achievements based on your criteria (the context of your own unique life) is vital in reinforcing your good behaviors.
This honesty with yourself tends to feel all warm and fuzzy. You’re allowing yourself to be proud of what you’ve managed to do, impressed with your achievements, and happy with the person you’re continuing to become. Celebrate each insight and try to think of ways to bring this part of yourself into a more central role in your life.
Accepting Your Mediocrity
All that said, there are bound to be parts of everyone’s life in which we are not hitting the high notes. Remember, it is fine (expected, actually!) for you to self-identify as pretty average in certain parts of your existence. There’s a power in accepting these traits that will mean you’re less likely to take a dig out of your self-esteem the next time you feel you ought to be achieving excellence in some area. We can’t be excellent all of the time; it’s just not possible!
Have an honest conversation about those things that make you, well, pretty darn mediocre. Perhaps your culinary exploits end in delight as much as they end in a fire alarm; maybe you agreed with yourself to watch less Netflix but there’s a really good show you’ve been indulging in anyhow. Whatever it is, you have probably missed some small goals you set for yourself. An unhelpful honesty with yourself will be very critical of this, yet a more accepting attitude is what’s needed for adequate self-care.
Moving from self-care to self-love, though, you can still take action in this area. ‘Own’ your rubbish cooking skills if you feel it’s a hilariously central part of your character. Reevaluate over-the-top goals so that you’re not juggling plates to hit all of them. Most of all, being completely honest with yourself about your relative short-comings gives you the opportunity to target one or two areas that you can enhance, even if just by a little bit, by setting new achievable goals. You’ll make your life a whole lot more wholesome, fulfilling, and full of happiness and pride when you do.
Recognizing Required Improvements
The most important and fundamental part of self-love is to be searingly honest in the area that counts – that in which you’re letting yourself down. This is where you’re most likely to lie to yourself by sweeping under the carpet those guilty feelings that lurk nonetheless and are just as damaging as whatever it is that made you feel guilty in the first place. It’s difficult and stressful at times to have this honest dialogue, but it’ll get you to a better place in the long-run.
If you sit down and think of improvements you could make, maybe even that you’ve meant to make for months or years, in an atmosphere of self-loving honestly, there’ll almost certainly be one or two things that pop straight into your mind. One of the biggest self-denials in life is an addiction, and deciding to head to a rehab center is one of the best gestures of self-love you can administer – check this website for more info. Likewise, any negativity you hold towards people can darken your perspective. Healing these rifts will lift a significant weight inside your heart.
What’s really crucial about the honesty you apply to your darker sides is that you do it without criticality, blame and self-loathing. It is not a witch hunt; it’s actually a caring approach to a side of yourself that you have left in the cold for a long time, isolated, afraid, and unrecognized. Welcoming that shadow of yourself into your whole (and it is a crucial part) is a beautiful and difficult part of the self-honesty journey but, once you’ve got there, it never fails to be the most rewarding.
There you have it! The three pillars of self-honesty that will, over time, lead you to the most full and caring form of self-love possible. In short, you’re looking to throw a psychological party when you succeed, have a chuckling acceptance of times that you don’t quite make it, and a brave understanding of the areas of your life that you should truly try hard to change. Combined, you’ll be well on your way to loving yourself in peace, with all parts of your life in happy harmony with one another.