Contrasts Are Needed To Experience Life
Do you know how it is to be cold? Of course you do.
Do you also know how it is to be hot? Yup.
Do you know why you know how it is to be cold or hot? It’s because you’ve experienced the contrast.
Imagine, you were born on a planet where it was cold all the time. All the time. You could never get warm. Ever. Would you know how it would be to be warm? Would you even have a word for being warm? You probably wouldn’t even have a word for being cold. It would just be called being normally temperatured or something like that.
You get my point, I hope.
Humans need contrasts in life to really experience life wholly. We need black to experience white. We need dark to experience light. We need shit to experience awesome.
I Hated Myself For Decades
This is such a public forum in which to admit this. But I hated myself for decades. Until I was 30, I despised myself. I hated myself so much that I didn’t even believe I should be allowed the basic essentials like air, water, or food.
I starved myself, didn’t drink enough water (as it would be a waste), and took shallow breaths.
Why am I sharing this with you? Do I want you to hate me as well? I think I’m sharing this with everyone because I know so many people right now in this moment who hate themselves so much that they can’t even bear to look at themselves in the mirror, eye-to-eye. They can’t bear anyone else to look at them either, so when someone like me, looks them in the eye, as they are, they stumble, and shy away like gazelles.
I want to share this with you because I have been on both sides of the fence. I have hated myself for decades, and I have loved myself for a few years now. I know the contrast, and I want you to be on my side of the fence.
You see, I didn’t know it was possible to love myself as I love myself right now. But it is possible. Once the possibility of love is revealed to me, I do not want to go back to hate. Not only do I not want to go back to hate, but I don’t want anyone else to experience hate like I did.
What Changed When I Turned 30?
What happened when I turned 30 to make me fall in love with myself as I am? The angels didn’t speak, nor did the heavens open up to reveal the Gods playing their songs for me. Nothing dramatic happened.
I just stopped hating myself. I realized I’m awesome as I am, with all of my flaws, with all of the fat on my body, with my temper tantrums, and angers, and jealousies, and fears, and doubts, and anxieties.
Could it really be that simple? Weirdly enough, change when it comes, comes as swiftly, but we as humans forget the years of hard work that we put in to make things happen.
I forgot the years of yoga, months of meditation, and personal development sessions that I held for myself. Regular yoga practice helped me realize how strong and powerful my body is, how much it is capable of, and how beautiful it truly is. Regular meditation helped me realize that my mind is so strong, and powerful, that it can make up stories with its imagination, that it can form intuitive connections with a few bits of information, and it can form friendships being a smart-ass.
The culmination of yoga, meditation, and books got me after years to a point, where all of a sudden, it didn’t matter what I looked like, or what I accomplished. I loved myself as I was every single day.
Why Does Loving Oneself Matter?
Most people hate themselves, and they tell me, hating themselves makes them work harder. They push themselves harder when they workout, and they push themselves harder to become better individuals by earning more, spending more, and doing more.
When you look at that logic, it absolutely makes sense. Then, why don’t those people look beautiful to me? Why do I find it so hard to love those individuals?
You’ve heard the adage, Love yourself as you want to be loved.
When I began to love myself as I was (it didn’t matter if everyone on this planet thinks I’m ugly, I know I’m beautiful), I walked around the world with this glow on my body and face that distinguishes me from every single person I meet. I am beautiful, and that is that. There is no arguing with it. I don’t have to convince anyone of my beauty, and I don’t have to ask people to confirm it.
I am a beautiful human. I believe that. That’s all that matters.
Funnily enough, now I get people coming to me all the time, and telling me I’m beautiful. Nothing changed. I am the same person outwardly, but people say my face has changed, and I look more beautiful. I haven’t changed anything except my perception of myself and love towards myself.
Only we can love ourselves, the way we want to be loved. Unconditionally.
So much of our time is spent running after other people, holding them down, and begging them to love us as we want to be loved. Please love me and tell me I’m beautiful, we say. But no matter how much that person loves us, it is never enough.
Until we love ourselves as we want to be loved, it will never be enough. Nothing that comes outside of ourselves will be ever enough. It has to come from the inside. It has to.
I have realized unconditional love for myself, so even if I have moments when I’m less than perfect, I can tell myself, ‘I still love you, even though you behaved like a fool just now. Please take this as a lesson and keep on improving. Remember, I still love you.’
You think that’s weird? Oh, so you don’t think telling ourselves over and over again horrible things is weird? ‘You are hateful. You are ugly. You are horrible. No one’s ever going to love you. You are so damn disgusting.’ How many of us have self-talk like this? Too many of us.
When I Love Myself, Everything Is Magical
Why does loving myself matter? When I started realizing that I’m so damn awesome and I love myself, not only did others realize the same, but I just found everything in my life coming up roses.
I started discovering and doing the things I love to do, like singing, dancing, playing the ukulele, writing thousands of words everyday, hanging with people who loved me, eating delicious foods, and so much more.
I started discovering so many people who saw the beauty in me, and enhanced me, rather than bringing me down. These individuals saw me as a miracle, and wanted to be around me because they felt good about themselves.
I started discovering people who were so loving and caring. Horrible people started fading out of my life because my time is precious, and I’m way too precious to myself to be hanging out with trash (sorry to be harsh here, but it’s a fact).
I started spending my precious time, energy, and body on people who mattered. Treat yourself like the precious object you are. We are all precious in our own ways. Realize it, and you start realizing the worthiness of your life and time.
Hang Out With People Who Love Themselves
My love-themselves-radar is finely tuned now. I know instantly who loves themselves and who doesn’t. This is due to the words they use (words are powerful), the way they dress, the shoes they wear, the way they treat their skin, hair, and nails, the way they carry themselves in the world, and the way they speak to me.
- People who love themselves don’t need to bring other people down with words, gestures, or ideas
- People who love themselves take care of their physical appearance in little ways that no one else might notice, but matters to them
- People who love themselves use positive self-talk words, and also positive words for everyone around them
- People who love themselves walk through the world like they are the Queens and Kings of the land they walk on, and they look people in the eye, because they have no shame
I have realized that it is extremely draining to hang out with people who hate themselves. In a matter of minutes, I will take on that persons’ hate, and start hating myself.
Loving Oneself Is Precarious Enough
Loving oneself is hard enough. Don’t bring negative people into the mix. And cut off any negative comments right freaking away! Seriously!
As soon as anyone starts saying anything bad about me in front of me, I cut them off. CUT THEM OFF RIGHT AWAY!
Don’t give them the message either that it is alright for them to start talking shit about you, or for them to continue to talk shit about you. Negative talking isn’t acceptable. Not even in small doses.
They aren’t trying to improve you! They are shit-talking you and trying to bring you down.
Look here. I’m a perfectionist. I know all of my horrible qualities. Of course, I’m not perfect, and I am on a constant minute-by-minute self-improvement program.
I know my shitty side.
Stop trying to fix me. I don’t freaking need anyone else to FIX me. I don’t need your horrible advice, especially if you yourself have a hard time loving yourself.
Keep that shit to yourself, and if you aren’t going to say anything nice, don’t say anything. Because if you do, I’m going to shut that shit right away, and never hang out with you again.
Loving Oneself Is A Full-Time Business
Do you know how much time you spend on your business or job? 8 hours a day right? How much time do you spend on loving yourself? And I don’t just mean the physical loving that you are thinking of. I’m speaking of positive self-talk, doing nice things for yourself, being kind to yourself, letting yourself have some fun, and just saying, ‘I love you’ to yourself.
Remember this. Most of the stuff that is necessary for you to love yourself will not come from someone else!!!
You want to be loved in a particular way? Just do it yourself. Buy yourself that loofah you’ve been dreaming of, or that car. Go on that holiday yourself that you’ve been wanting to go on. Send yourself flowers like you’ve been lusting after.
No one knows yourself the way you know yourself. You know how to show love to yourself. Why are you waiting for someone to realize this about you, and give you what you want?
For example, one of the major ways in which I feel love for myself, is through being told I’m lovely and beautiful. If I waited until I had a boyfriend to be told these things, I would be waiting a long time.
Thus, now, I spend at least a few minutes a day, looking at myself in the mirror, telling myself, I’m awesome, beautiful, and the world is generally lucky to have me.
Too much? Not even a bit. How much time do you spend telling yourself, ‘You suck, you are horrible at everything, you should just go die.’
Self-Love Means I Do Things I Want To Do With People I Like
How much time do you spend on things you hate to do, and people you hate to do it with? Let me guess. 90% of your time? How accurate am I?
When you hate yourself, you don’t think of yourself as a precious object, you will spend time with people you hate, doing things you hate to do, and generally hating yourself.
For the longest time, I hung out with women and men who treated me like the dirt on their shoes. I spent my precious time doing things that I hated doing, in jobs that I disliked, in tasks that I despised. I’m sure you can relate.
When we start loving ourselves, all of this nonsensical behaviour disappears. Not only is our time and energy limited, but we are way too precious to be mishandled like this.
I only spend time with people I like. And, I spend time doing things I love to do, like writing, eating, working on my business, making money, dancing, singing, and being generally awesome.
How do you spend your time? With people you hate and doing things you hate? Or the opposite. Be honest, and fix it.
Finally, You Don’t Need To Get Anywhere To Love Yourself
For the longest time, I told myself, ‘Once I’m a millionaire, I’ll finally be lovable.’ Or, ‘Once I weigh 130 pounds, I’ll be lovable.’ (I’m 5’9″ and it is sick that I wanted to weigh 130 pounds – basically I wanted to kill myself to love myself). Or, this is a good one, ‘Once someone else loves me, I’ll love myself, because finally, I’ll have proof that I’m lovable.’
God, this is some stupid shit. I write this stuff and I re-read it, and realize I had some screwed up thoughts.
Anyways, the final argument I make is that I’m not any of those things right now, and I love myself more than I have ever loved anyone. Selfishly, yes. Happily, yes. Joyfully, absolutely yes.
Don’t love yourself once you get to a certain point. What if you never get there? Will you stay stuck in a spiral of hate forever?
That is just the recipe for failure. Love yourself right now as you are (as our meditations and Stoic philosophy) teaches you, but always have a self-improvement regime to keep on getting better.
We are perfect right now. This kind of perfection we are right now will never manifest again. We might get more perfect, but right now, we are uniquely perfect. Let’s appreciate ourselves, and tell ourselves how much we love ourselves.