We all have those days. You wake up on the right side of bed, proceed to ‘do your thing’ and are just feeling all around 100. You feel powerful and invincible. That is until you accidentally catch a glimpse of your reflection and are startled by the person staring back. Oh, is that what I look like today? Are the bags under my eyes really that prominent?
It almost feels like spinach between your teeth. Upon discovery, you proceed by making lightning-speed mental calculations of all the people that you have encountered, who all failed to tell you what a quick glance just did.
Your Physical Appearance
Catching your reflection and seeing something you didn’t quite expect can sometimes be upsetting. An unnecessary mental slap in the face of your confidence, that’s what it is. Why do we continue to attach so much weight to our physical appearance? Everyone has off days and we’re not always happy. Yet, the crazy standards of our society and social media’s highlight reel can make you feel this intense need to be ‘perfect’ all the time. Whatever that means. Now, add on top of that the emotional rollercoaster of daily appearance-based self esteem. Wow. Recipe for (mental) disaster.
Yes, I said it. I acknowledged it. But like so many of us, I can also not always let it go. Somedays your skin is just a little thinner than usual. Sometimes you feel like giving in to society’s insane standards of beauty and succumbing to social media’s warped alternate reality. That’s normal. We are all raw, unedited, unfiltered, un-photoshopped individuals.
Self Image and Society’s Standards
We all have an ideal self-image along with standards that we hold ourselves to. Somedays, we might not meet the very standards we hold ourselves to on a daily basis. Other days, we just might not feel that comfy in our own skin, which is actually perfectly normal. But prolonged negativity can be detrimental to our self esteem and can cause a distorted (negative) self-image.
“Loving yourself starts with liking yourself, which starts with respecting yourself, which starts with thinking of yourself in positive ways.”
― Jerry Corsten
Can you honestly say that you know yourself? Have you invested the necessary time and energy into yourself?
- If so, keep that up, self-love is a journey not a destination. As we grow, we reinvent ourselves and therefore we keep recalibrating our self-image and fortifying and building on what it is that we love about ourselves.
- If not, it’s time for some TLC (tender love and care) because how do you expect to like, let alone love, someone you have not taken the time to get to know?
A big part of thinking of yourself in positive ways has to do with loving the skin you are in. If, however, I have to see another ad telling me this, I think I might start pulling hairs. It’s been said too many times, but it’s definitely more frustrating to admit that it is still so valid. So, ready or not cue my little self-love promo:
We are one of a kind creatures. Unique in our thoughts and appearance. We come in a limited edition, single print production package. Yet, somewhere along the way society decided that having certain features made some packages more valuable. In order to ‘make it’ or even just to belong we are made to feel as though we have to adjust the features of our package. Whatever happened to self-acceptance and appreciating our own limited edition packaging?
The Self-love Call-To-Action
If you made it this far, thank you for reading :)! There is a part of you whether big or small that is curious about being comfortable in your own skin and practicing self-love. That’s great! No matter where you are in your self-love journey…
I challenge you to 30 days of
One kind deed, to yourself, for each of the 30 days. Whether it is getting more sleep, treating yourself to a spa day, meditating etc. It does not matter what you do, just be consistent for these days and keep the spotlight on you.
They say it takes 30 days to create a habit and with this challenge I hope to inspire you to make self-love a part of your lifestyle.
Live, it breathe it, embody it.
The most important lesson we need to learn, from this, is to love ourselves regardless of the societal pressures and through our emotional highs and lows. Even when our skin is the thinnest it has been in quite some time, we need to remember that we are human. We need to power through the vulnerability and emotional fatigue and remember that at times our self-image might waver. We might not always measure up to the standards we prefer to hold ourselves to everyday. Regardless, of the eb and flow in our self-image, we should aim to remain unwavering in our self-love.
Please note, that this consistency, in being comfortable and practicing self-love, is not mutually exclusive from individual to individual. Focusing on yourself does not have to take away from someone else. We do not need to bring others down in order to lift ourselves up. By learning to take good care of ourselves we learn how to take good care of others. That is the true beauty of self-love.
“Love yourself. Enough to take the actions required for your happiness. Enough to cut yourself loose from the drama-filled past. Enough to set a high standard for relationships. Enough to feed your mind and body in a healthy manner. Enough to forgive yourself. Enough to move on.”
― Steve Maraboli