Learn to Love Yourself

The start of the new year provides the opportunity to bring about new changes and growth in your life. While it is easy to give up on New Year’s resolutions within the first few weeks, there are other, more important lessons we can take away and carry with us throughout the rest of the year. Before you focus on bettering your academics or physical health, the first lesson is to learn to love yourself.

Let 2019 be the year that you learn to practice self-love and checking in with yourself about your overall well-being. We often invest so much energy and time into those around us that we forget to prioritize our own necessities as well. We are all capable of giving out so much care and energy that if we present it all to other people, it can all be taken away at any moment.

Choosing to love yourself is not a selfish act. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. By prioritizing self-love, you are helping yourself care for others around you as well. Taking time to appreciate yourself is always important. If you find yourself wondering why, remind yourself that you deserve it and, above all, that it is crucial to your self-care and self-improvement.

Additionally, if you can’t love yourself then you won’t be able to accept the love given to you by others. When you start to appreciate yourself, you take the time to learn more about your desires and your needs before you invest that time in anyone else. How you learn to love yourself is central to how you accept love from others. Charlie, the protagonist in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, has a teacher who tells him: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” If we don’t appreciate ourselves, we can reject or question the love that is given to us as a result of our self-doubt. Without realizing, you may sabotage yourself by denying the progression of healthy relationships in your narrative.

Sometimes we need to be taught to love the aspects of ourselves that we feel the most insecure about. While this often comes from a moment of reflection within, occasionally we can only learn to love ourselves in this way by being loved in the places that are most tender and unsure. This permits freedom and peace with your permission and ability to love yourself in a deeper way. This is not the gift of will-power, but of intimacy.

Our experiences of loving ourselves are often hindered when we’re ashamed of the most unique, eclectic part of ourselves. When I reflect upon myself, I realize that I am partially insecure about my height (I’m five feet even). These insecurities often make us question our social safety and may make us feel unsure of how other people perceive us. In reality, the acceptance of traits such as these helps lead us towards self-love. In my case, I choose to flaunt the fact that I am approximately the size of a toddler and I like to incorporate it as an element of my personality. I choose to be the world’s best armrest and I appreciate the fact that I can squeeze into tight quarters while playing hide-and-go-seek.

With the new year, challenge yourself to form relationships that are outside of your comfort zone. Surround yourself with people who will instruct you and help you to value your most vulnerable self. In The Brutal Truth, Jonathan Harnisch says: “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about.”