There was a point in my life when I realized that I’d stopped taking care of and loving myself. I had stopped being kind to my needs. I had stopped pursuing my goals and working on myself. I had stopped believing in myself.
There was a time in my life when I was feeling like I was a slave to self-doubt. I indulged in despair and self-pity. I felt weak and useless. I felt like I wasn’t capable of maintaining my friendships. Hanging out with my friends was the most difficult thing to muster up the energy to do. I felt like I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s love.
Yes, I doubted my self-worth and I felt like I was losing track of my life.
But, you know what?
Three years ago, I wouldn’t have admitted having such negative thoughts. But, I’ve changed a lot since then. I’ve grown. I’ve matured.
I’ve realized that the only person who is responsible for taking care of me is …ME. I’ve realized that if I don’t accept and cherish myself the way I am and if I don’t take good care of myself, I’ll turn into a shadow of myself. I’ll lose myself.
Of course, it takes a lot of effort, time, and courage to get acquainted with and embrace your dark sides. It takes a lot of effort to accept your negative feelings, your annoying habits, your whims, your insecurities, and your fears.
But, if you want to live a truly happy, rich, and fulfilling life, you need to embrace your weaknesses and imperfections rather than criticize and judge yourself for them.
Practicing self-acceptance and self-care and loving yourself unconditionally is a prerequisite for living a happy and meaningful life.
So, the question is: What does accepting and cherishing yourself unconditionally mean?
First of all, it means embracing all your flaws. It means understanding that your weaknesses don’t define your worth. That they don’t define who you are.
It means being kind to yourself when you feel positive and accomplish your goals, but also when you are faced with failure and make mistakes.
It means standing up for yourself when other people are trying to discourage you, criticize you, or belittle you.
It means giving yourself some amount of time to heal your emotional wounds and process negative, painful experiences.
It means living your life in accordance with your own beliefs, principles, and values. It means not giving a damn about what others think of you. It means not allowing anyone to control your feelings and actions.
It means always being honest with yourself.
It means not forgetting to be kind to yourself and take care of yourself, even when it’s hard. Even when you’re struggling.