We have all heard “If you don’t fully love yourself, how can you love someone else?”
As someone who is from Poland, a woman of faith, and life-long member of the Gothic sub-culture, I have been told for a large part of my life that I am odd and too different. I have experienced stereotyping, judgment, and ridicule for how I live my life and my cultural background. In spite of all that, I have grown to love myself for who I am and celebrate my differences rather than shame myself for who or what society expects me to be as a part of the “norm.” I have found freedom, peace, resiliency, and beauty in my own unique self.
My hope for others is to move beyond stereotypes, societal expectations, expectations of others, and strengthen in expectations and love of self. No one else knows us better than ourselves, and only we, at the end of the day, answer to ourselves for how we live our lives. No one else lives in our body and experiences our thoughts, emotions, and spirit the way that we do. Sometimes, we let others and societal expectations dictate our lives and how we express ourselves, how we show up for ourselves and others. As we grow in self- empowerment, self-love, and understanding our morals and values, we are able to grow in the understanding of who we are as an individual, what we need and want, and hopefully, become more comfortable with who we are inside.
How often have others told you that you are too different, or not enough, in order to be accepted; that you have to dress, look like, or feel what social media, or others think and view as appropriate, yet who might not be true to themselves. With such negative messages, self-doubt, insecurities, body image issues, shame, guilt, self-loathing, and isolation often occurs. Self-love is then greatly hindered and significantly under-nurtured, which may cause stress and anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviors, suicidal thinking, eating disorders, and body dysmorphia. Some inspirational statements that may be impactful and of comfort to you include:
- No one is you and that is your super power.
- The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you’ll tolerate.
- Your words are powerful, be careful how you talk to yourself.
- Don’t shrink for others. You are just as important and beautiful as they are.
Being your true self, while practicing Affirmations, can provide you with the true inner peace that your heart, soul, and mind seek. Your unique self is what helps build true connections with self and others. If we were all alike, how would we learn from and challenge one another? How would we then provide unique beauty and new knowledge and different perspective into this world?
So the next time you feel, or others make you feel, that you are not enough, remind yourself of how important you are, how much you can offer yourself and others because of your uniqueness and remind yourself of this quote:
I do not exist to impress the World. I exist to live my life in a way that will make me Happy.
Only we can determine and grow in our own true happiness.
–Article by Agnes McKay, Psy.D