Everyone says it. It’s important to love yourself.
It’s even more important to love yourself with positive self-talk. Why? Because if you don’t talk to yourself with love and appreciate, it could be twice as hard to love yourself. If you don’t love yourself then how are you going to be able to love anyone else? More importantly, how do we even start our journey to self-love? It’s like a roadmap with many streets, alleyways, and crossways. It’s confusing and we often go in circles and backtrack because we don’t know how to get from point a to point b. And we’re too stubborn to ask for directions.
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When was the last time you looked in the mirror and analyzed what you saw?
I’m not talking about the color lipstick you’re wearing or strands of hair peeking out from your messy bun. We look in the mirror every day yet fail to see what is really there. Under all the layers, can you honestly say you feel love for yourself? Do you love the way you look, the way you treat people, the way you raise your family? Ugh. These kinds of questions usually result in negative self-talk; something that is totally not good for our self-love journey. This is where those crossways come into play.
Though puberty gave me long, thick stretch marks on my inner thighs that travel halfway down my upper legs, I had to teach myself to love myself with positive self-talk.
For a long time, I hated them about myself. So much that I would wear pants in the summer and didn’t like wearing bathing suits to go swimming.
During my senior year of high school, the school planned a trip to a local amusement park. My friends (more so than me) decided that we weren’t going to ride the regular attractions. Nope. Bravely, I ventured into the water park with them that day, none of them truly understood how hard it was for me to do. How would they? The lack of love I felt for my stretch marks and myself wasn’t something I talked about on the daily.
I pushed away my thoughts the best I could so I could enjoy the day. But, there is one part that I’ll never forget. The lines were somewhat long, but not too bad. All I wanted to do was to get to the front, go on the ride, and be done with it. Instead, I found myself tuning out their conversation because another girl was staring at my legs. More specifically, my thighs, where it looked like my skin had undergone an attack from a wild animal.
At that moment, I felt a lack of confidence and an abundance of embarrassment.
I was ashamed of myself and the way I looked. All I wanted to do was shrivel up and go home after that. Because I didn’t love every part of myself at that time, my self-talk took me down memory lane, resulting in more negative thoughts about my body.
Long story short, I spent much of my teenage years trying to keep them hidden because of the embarrassment and shame they made me feel. Who wants to see ugly stretch marks all over their body? No one, especially the people out there that have them. Looking back and knowing that I’ll always remember that moment shows how much I’ve grown when it comes to loving myself.
No one was forcing me. I began my self-love journey on my own. I had to do what I’m recommending you to do: which is love yourself with positive self-talk. Using that same technique, I see myself and my stretch marks differently now. I’m no longer afraid to go swimming in fear that someone will see them and judge me. As more time passes, I’m becoming more proud and less embarrassed by them.
Whatever you’re feeling deep down inside, know that what you’re telling yourself does matter.
As well as how you perceive yourself. It’s the first step in self-love. We’ve created these deep-seated beliefs about ourselves that make us feel bad and ashamed. That’s what we see looking back at us in the mirror. It may seem outlandish at first, but our reflection is a product of our beliefs and self-talk. If you’re moving forward with negative self- talk then how can you begin to love everything about yourself? You can’t. Your subconscious will be too busy hanging onto what you’ve already told it. For me, it was that I should feel embarrassed and ashamed of my stretch marks. Something that is merely a cause and effect from transitioning from a young girl to a young woman.
When you find yourself negatively talking. Ask yourself: Why do I think I’m not good enough? What makes me feel like I can’t be loved? Why do I feel ugly?
I talked to myself with a little love and care. I had to be gentle and kind to myself. To this day, I believe they came from improper hydration, aka not drinking enough water! The point is, I had to look deep in myself and figure out why I didn’t like them. I had to find the root where the negative self-talk started so I could begin to treat myself with care in a loving way. No one can do this for you, you have to find it yourself because it only lives within you! Doing so will help guide you on your roadway so you can love yourself with positive self-talk.
There are tons of books out there that will help you on your journey of loving yourself with positive self-talk, but one of my absolute favorites A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. This book will wow you, I promise. It’s one of those books that you’ll read multiple times and never get sick of that’s how good it is. And you’ll gain knowledge on love from many different angles not just when it comes to yourself.
Self-love is about accepting who you are.
Yes, we make mistakes at times. Maybe you missed a meeting at work because you confused it with something else or you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer so it had time to thaw out before dinner time. Don’t resort to beating yourself up right away. Much like I allowed that girl’s stare to push me off balance, don’t let that frozen chicken make you feel defeated.
Be gentle with yourself and offer a little bit of love. If someone you loved accidentally forgot to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, would you tell them they can’t do anything right? No. You’d tell them it’s okay.
Tell yourself it’s okay.
You’re not a bad person if you mess up. And you’re still worthy and lovable! The most important thing is for you to accept yourself and show yourself that level of love that you deserve. And if you’re not there yet, relax. It takes time to find confidence within ourselves. It takes even more effort (at times) to keep that balance going because if we think one negative sentence we might find ourselves sliding into a mud bath.
My advice: Be patient, be kind, be gentle, and love yourself with positive self-talk. Not only with others, but yourself too because you deserve it just as much. That, my friends, is where you’ll find your relationship with self-love begins.
I’d love to hear your stories and how your journey of loving yourself with positive self-talk made you feel more confident! Feel free to leave a comment below. This is a no judgment zone after all!