This also appeared as a post: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2017/05/17/love-yourself/
“You are special. Accept that about yourself, and you will begin to understand there is true power in your uniqueness.”- from Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
I am creating a page called Love Yourself. And right now, that is all that it is.
I was actually looking for a way to create a resource to stop bullying, any sort of technique or process that I thought could work. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, it is sadly kind of the natural order of things. Link to my previous post, Bullied.
I started to look around to see if there were any techniques to stop bullying. But after decades, the same worn advice seems to be what everyone is doling out: “Tell an adult.” “If you see something, say something.”
Oh wait, that second one is from Homeland Security.
And telling an adult won’t PREVENT it, which would be the total ultimate awesome solution to the pain of so many crying out in the night. (I have been there. I have written the bad poetry to prove it.)
But what if we could make it irrelevant? What if it didn’t matter what others said about you, because you had confidence in yourself, so that you could be the best person you could be?
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball
That is kind of how I barnstormed (wait, brainstormed) into this whole “Love Yourself” idea. What if we stopped worrying so much about external factors* and instead worked on our insides? What if we stopped trying to paint our faces to look perfect on the outside when we are crying on the inside? What if we stopped using our credit card at Lowe’s to build the perfect house that we don’t even like, just to keep up appearances for the outside world?
What I’m getting at is that bad stuff will always happen, lots of it, in many different ways, shapes, and forms.
But we could be better prepared for all of it, bullying included, if our insides were healed first.
I have to think that there would be less war and more peace if people loved themselves more than their money or land or resources.
There would be less celebrities too. Why worship a Kim Kardashian or a Tom Brady when you can worship YOURSELF?
And you probably assume that money or fame will lead you to happiness. But rich, seemingly successful individuals commit suicide every single day. And it is heartbreaking.
There are a million ways what I am saying could be misinterpreted. But if you wake up in the morning and hate yourself, (you will know that feeling if you do) that is what needs to change.
“I think everybody’s weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it.”
– Johnny Depp
You might think of this as being cocky or vain, vain being one of the seven deadly sins (I Googled it). But if we are supposed to be made in God’s image, shouldn’t we be happy with the self we live in? Our body, inside and out, our spirit, our gifts?
I am talking very vaguely here. But that is because it could be referred to as many different things. “Love Yourself” means to know who you truly are and what makes you happy. Yes, sometimes we all have to go to a job we aren’t happy about. But if it truly makes you “I-can’t-sleep-at-night, I-can’t-eat, I-can’t-remember-happiness” sick, then that is you not listening to that special spot inside of you.
Do you call it your heart?
Your common sense?
Your life force?
I don’t care what you call it. But you need to learn that it is there and how to listen to it. Some of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make in life are easier when you listen to it.
I know it is hard. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed this concept until I was like, 38 years old. But maybe if we started young, taught this to our children, it could become a movement.
I want anyone who wants pink hair TO HAVE IT.
I want anyone who wants a nose piercing TO HAVE IT.
I want EVERYONE to STOP WANTING and START BEING.
“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
I know many people (myself included) who walk around with bad attitudes about absolutely everything because they are not being who they really need to be. There is a voice inside you that yearns to speak. There is a spirit in you that is trying to bust out.
Heck, I had this Love Yourself cause burning inside of me on Monday. What did I do? I chose to go to work. I should have stayed home. I think I could have gotten more out of expressing my thoughts while they were fresh than what little I can buy with my paycheck. But, I went the road of least resistance. WE ALL DO.
Am I saying we should all quit our jobs? Well, no. But we do need to be conscious of where our destinies are pointing us.
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”
– Bob Moawad
Maybe it is just me that has trouble listening to my inner voice. Maybe other people get there by meditation or whatever.
But I have to retrain EVERY THOUGHT to be more positive, more loving, less judgmental—of myself AND others. It is a lot of work, but I think, in the end, it may be worth it. I hope maybe you will too.
The awesome Heather Hildenbrand gave a speech at Utopia Con 2016 called “The Audacity of Self-Love”. I wish it was on YouTube, or that I had taken better notes. But, well, I was too moved to jot down anything more than an outline. I was already pondering such ideas, and she just reinforced that.
Some of Heather’s statements: “Judgement is the consequence of trying to break out of the mold… Liking yourself is a rebellious act… Be audacious enough at loving yourself that other people see it.”
Then in July 2016, I drew this. Out of thin air, for no reason. I was at a public chalk art event and I asked myself, “What message do I want to send to everyone around me?”
I don’t know what this may grow into, but I am excited to find out. More excited than I have been about anything since I decided to write a book. Or when I decided to publish said book. But to be honest, neither of those were really a decision, just as this wasn’t. I am listening to my gut. And it feels damn good.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Washington Thurman
If you keep sitting around waiting for someone else to understand you and support you, you could be waiting a very long time. It has to begin with you. Then it does not matter if anyone else jumps on board.
But, a great side effect of self love is that they will sense your confidence, and be more likely to.
I am weird. I am awkward. I don’t see the world as other people do. I try and use that to my advantage.
Everyone, at their core, WANTS to be normal. The blind man wants to be able to see. The physically disabled woman desires to walk. It is only when we let go of this unattainable goal of “normal” that we are then free to be who we were actually born to be.
And that is the best gift of all. You only get one life. Stop trying to live by others standards, only by your own.
* I know this is impossible to stop completely, but it should count toward less weight on the scale of importance in our lives.