If you had met me around a year ago, you would be meeting a different person. One year ago, I was obsessed with fitting in. I would hide parts of myself to fit in with the people around me. In my mind, I couldn’t be complete until I was “normal”.
Let me make what could be a lengthy story short: Always be yourself.
Over the past year, I have been working each day to become more my myself. At a certain point in my life I realized that I could never be happy trying to be like everyone around me. I realized that, although it can be challenging at times, I had to be myself. I had to be weird. I had to follow my crazy dreams. I had to completely surrender my life to God.
Basically, I just had to do everything that I had been craving to do for years.
Many of you may be reading this and roll your eyes. You may think, “Well, I already am myself.” If that is the case, great! I am thrilled that you have found comfort in who you are. For those of you who have not, I would challenge you to start doing things that make you happy.
Take control of your life. Start living the life you love.
For those of you who have found comfort in being who you are, allow me to ask you a question: Do you love yourself?
I am a firm believer that you can be yourself and still not love yourself. Although I have become more comfortable with myself than I have ever been, there are still moments where I can confess that I did not love myself.
Sometimes I’m too loud and people look at me weird. Sometimes I say the wrong thing and people look at me weird. Sometimes I do something awkward and people look at me weird… Are you noticing a trend?
At first glance, there isn’t much wrong with those statements. However, I am asking you to take a deeper look. I have continuously said “sometimes I…”. By beginning my statements like that, I am placing blame on myself. I am stating that I believe I’m weird, that I said the wrong things, and that I am awkward. While this may be true, I shouldn’t have such a negative view of myself.
You should never claim negative beliefs about yourself.
If someone gives me a weird look, I should question why they are doing that or I should have the ability to laugh, if I did do something silly. But I don’t have that ability. Instead, my heart races, my face turns tomato red, and thoughts run through my mind at the speed of light about how weird I am.
This is where I am at during my journey of learning to be myself and learning to love myself. I have come a long way, but I still have quite a bit to go. However, I am traveling along this journey with hope in my heart and God by my side. I wholeheartedly believe that we can all reach a peacefulness in our lives, full of love for who we are. I believe that we can learn to embrace even the weirdest parts of ourselves and actually love those parts.
So, do you love yourself?
If you aren’t sure, let me ask you a few questions:
- Do you constantly wonder what you did wrong?
- Do you blame yourself when other people are being judgmental?
- When faced with failure, do you begin to consider all the things you did wrong? Or maybe even think about your past failures? Maybe you even think that you are a failure.
- Do you look at an imperfect picture of yourself and feel the sudden urge to delete it?
- Do you delete your pictures on Instagram if you don’t get enough likes? Do you determine your value based on the amount of likes you get?
- Do you value other people’s opinions of you more than your own? More than God’s?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, I would urge you to evaluate yourself and determine if you have truly embraced and accepted yourself. If not, that’s okay; the good thing is that you have realized this and that you can begin moving forward into a warmer place of acceptance.
From this moment on, make it a goal to find love for yourself.
Throughout this life you will make friends and lose friends. People will come and go. But you are stuck with you forever. Find love for yourself. Love everything about you. After all, God created you and He doesn’t make mistakes. He made you as you are for a purpose. He made you perfectly. He made you exactly as He had planned.
So love yourself.
Love the weirdest parts of you. Accept the darkest parts of you. Confront your negative thoughts. Laugh in the awkward moments. Find people who love you for who you are.