One of the most important things I have learned in my 21 years of life is the importance of loving yourself. By loving yourself, I don’t mean being conceited or vain. I mean being so happy with who you are to the point that you are content with hanging out with yourself every now and then.
Yes, we all have some loved ones, whether it be our parents, a significant other, a best friend. But those people will not always be there for us. We may drift apart or they may inevitably die. This is why it is so important to learn how to be your own person and have a certain level of independence in everyday life.
One of the biggest issues I see/hear about, is a person letting themselves be defined by their significant other. They are no longer X when they are in a relationship, they are X and Y all the time. Of course it is important to have some level of dependence on your partner: taking his or her opinions into consideration and doing certain things together as a couple. However, you should not let them define you. You should always be you. Because one day they may not be around and if you let yourself be defined by them, then you will cease to exist and get highly depressed.
Loving yourself is definitely not an easy thing to do, especially if you are going through a difficult time in your life or just don’t know what you want to do with your life. I have found these things to be helpful:
1) Learn to be alone (aka get a hobby). Take out some time for yourself everyday. It could be 30 minutes, maybe even 2 hours, to just do something that makes you happy. It can be writing, reading, shopping, cooking, dancing, singing anything that you can do by yourself and enjoy.
2) Work on your weaknesses. We all have things about ourselves we dislike, maybe even hate. It is important to understand that everyone has weaknesses and they are not bad. Once you accept that, it is easier to work on them and improve yourself. Also keep in mind that improvements do not happen overnight, any step you take towards improving yourself, even if it is a small step, is still a step.
3) Enjoy life’s small beauties. Sometimes we get so caught up in social media, drama, and other minuscule things that do not define our lives, that we forget to look up at the sky and see just how perfectly painted it is. We forget to enjoy the crisp breeze and bright sunshine. Just giving yourself a few extra minutes wherever you are to truly enjoy the small things around you makes a huge difference.
I hope these three points help you as much as they have helped me! And remember:
No matter where you go, there you are. – Confucius
You cannot escape yourself, so why not love yourself?