Learning to love yourself

I have found in the past few weeks my path in life is becoming more clear and it is allowing me to open up to myself and work on aspects that have been holding be back from becoming a better version of myself. The biggest hurdle I have yet to fully jump is loving myself.

As Ru Paul said “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” As true as it may appear sorry Ru I don’t think that’s the whole case.

Loving yourself is never a clear and cut phenomenon, it’s fluid and never really stays consistent; there have been days where I stare at myself in the mirror wondering when the next audition for Shamu the whale is and others where I’m blasting music strutting up and down my bedroom like a pop star. Both of these are completely valid and necessary in order for us to grow.

Whoever is reading this know that you are beautiful, valid and can achieve anything you set your mind too (as cheesy as that is) but remember life is a journey. We grow as human beings and are constantly learning lessons about ourselves and those around us. Acts of self-love don’t have to be working out and eating clean every day; it can be simple such as waking up and smiling at yourself in a mirror whilst confidently thinking “I got this”, because you really do. They say we only have around 692,040 hours on this planet so why do we need to spend countless precious moments of time questioning if we should wear that piece of clothing or order that takeaway? We have so many choices to make and life really is too short to regret.

Relationships with others are not defined by your ability to love yourself because acts of kindness make us feel great too. One of the biggest acts of self-love I have done recently was letting go of toxic relationships.

No more will I confuse love with submission, compassion and consideration with subservience and I learned to no longer confuse “being a good person” with dimming my light. These lessons did not come easily to me, there were countless tears and upsets along the way but I have chosen to thank those people for blessing me with their lessons and let go.

We are currently in a time of uncertainty and it’s easy to fall into a spiral of depression and anxiety. I implore you; if you have the mental capacity to do (because you are valid either way) take this time to reflect on yourself and choices. Who are you closest too? Do they make you happy? Who can you work with to better or close off relationships?

All these questions will help you learn to love yourself through your relationships with others. Don’t take this time to feel bad about some gained weight, lazy days or takeaway sagas as I can ensure you that you’re not alone. You were put on this earth for a reason and you deserve every ounce of happiness. Smile, laugh and enjoy the small things like a birdsong in the morning or the smell of cooking from downstairs.

Surround yourself with those who build you up. Love and laughter is so contagious and really is priceless in these unpredictable times. You deserve to be cared for and pushed to your full potential, and having the faith in yourself gets you halfway there already. It’s very easy for me to sit here and tell you to love yourself, and I would be hypocritical of me to say that it’s a simple task. Try to remember that you are unique in so many ways, look back on the times you found yourself immersed in happiness and enjoyment, wake up each morning knowing you are incredible and can take the world by storm.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you have all 692,040 hours to learn how to love yourself so maybe while you are at it, tell someone you love how amazing they are too.

Article by Young Reporter Alex Greenwood
First published in Grimsby Telegraph 28th April 2020