Thelma obani 2020
Posted March 6, 2021 from Nigeria

Savannah-Lyn Flowers January 4

Charlotte Green September 29 

What can I do to love myself?

Firstly, I want the person who asked or followed this question to know this is one of the hardest things for anybody to perfect, and it’s something that takes a lot of practice and discipline. Please don’t feel even worse about yourself for not giving yourself the love you know you need. Be kind to yourself and your learning experience.

Personally, self love is something I struggle really hard with, which is why it is so important to me. I am adamant and determined to get better at giving myself as much love as I give everyone else because of how much of a detriment it is to my own development and happiness when I don’t.

I like to think I’m learning to practice what I preach.

Here are a few things I’ve found that help me like/love myself more:

ONE: When it comes to my body/shape/general way I look, and I’m having a bad thought about something in particular, I actually look up people that have that same feature. For example, if I’m feeling self conscious about my hip dips or soft belly, I’ll search “hip dips” or “soft belly” and I’ll look at all these pictures of beautiful women who I think look wonderful, gorgeous and feminine who have the exact same features as me and think to myself “if I can see these women are beautiful and look great, why do I hate it so much in myself?” It really changes your perspective when you see other people like you and think lovely things. It reminds you that those things are lovely in you, too.

I also do this a lot with my body shape and size. I’ll look up “curvy” women in my specific size and see their beauty which in turn helps me see my own beauty.

TWO: Every time I am particularly harsh on myself about something, I ask myself if I would ever talk to a friend, family member or even perfect stranger that way. If the answer is no (which it almost always is), then I try to remind myself my harsh words/thoughts are unfair, unkind and unhelpful. The severity of my mean self-talk is hardly ever actually warranted. If someone I knew said or did this thing, would it warrant such a judgement? Once again, if the answer is no, I am reminded that my critical thoughts are unfair and cruel.

This one is AWESOME and makes a very solid debate point for your nasty inner voice.

THREE: Try to understand where the bad thought comes from. Realise the fact that your inner voice is only a product of your environment, usually strongly rooted in your childhood, and therefore it’s not actually factual. It’s been created from things out of your control as a little or young person and therefore it has nothing to do with you, your worth or your ability. I like to think of the inner voice as a sponge. It has soaked up everything it has come into contact with, but the great thing about sponges is they can be squeezed, emptied and then re-absorb once again.

Learning to love/like yourself is really just a slow squeeze of your sponge, slowly getting rid of the bad stuff you’ve absorbed.

It’s entirely up to you what you choose to absorb after that. Which leads me to my next technique;

FOUR: Surround yourself with people and things that positively contribute to your personal happiness, growth and ambition. Then your sponge is absorbing the good stuff… the encouragement, compassion, support and admiration. It makes it much harder for your sponge to absorb negativity if you’re gravitating towards positivity.

Sure, sometimes negativity comes out of nowhere and forces itself upon your life but if you’ve soaked up enough of the good stuff, you’ll KNOW that you’re not only going to be able to get through it, but you deserve to.

Here is a picture of me, actually including my body which isn’t common for me, feeling honestly happy and proud of my wonderful vessel. I actually look at this picture and only think positive things because I am GLOWING. My little belly, thick thighs and curvy shape is beautiful. I have made such big strides recently in loving myself and I want all of you to feel the same.

I hope these techniques can help all you gorgeous rays of sunshine learn to love yourself!

Copied from quora.

Comments 6

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Tamarack Verrall
Mar 06
Mar 06

Dear Thelma,
This is a profound message of self love, and with such wisdom and celebration of what you are giving yourself. As women we are taught in so many micro-aggression ways to be so hard on ourselves. So it was not only a great exercise in thinking of times that negative voice pops up in me, but so wonderful to reflect, while reading and celebrating your journey, that there is a sister in Nigeria, walking strong.

Thelma obani 2020
Mar 08
Mar 08

Thanks Tamarack. Very well and fine. How are you?

Nini Mappo
Mar 07
Mar 07

Dear Thelma,
Thank you the care and love you share with us through this post. Indeed, we are not our bodies, and we need not be perfect to be loved, or love ourselves. It is unfortunate that we criticize ourselves more than we affirm ourselves, and practicing that shift is important because we imagine that others think of us the way we think of ourselves, even when they don't, the lose confidence over nothing. So changing how we speak to ourselves about ourselves is important to becoming confident with who we are around others.

However, It concerns me that the writer can only embrace her body as mirrored by other similar body types. What would she do if she was the only such body type? And how can she tell that the images she interacts with reflect an attitude of complete confidence and acceptance? I think we should be able to love and accept our bodies irrespective of other people's. We should not need other bodies to scaffold our accepting our bodies. That is somewhat self-defeating in my opinion, like saying 'I'm OK because so and so is OK so that our safety is in numbers and not in the fact that we fully embrace ourselves....

I am also increasingly finding it difficult to embrace the 'encouragement' to 'surround yourself with positive people'. It assumes that I can thrive only in a 'bubble of positivity' and outsources my happiness or growth to others and how positive they are. Besides, it negates brokenness, hurt, pain, all of which are aspects of human life that cannot be avoided which means positivity bubbles are not possible. I say this because I have seen some friends lose friends over tiny little things because they have been told they 'deserve to be surrounded by positivity', creating a monster called entitlement that eats friendships.

However, I do agree that if people are constantly draining your energy and you have no further resources to offer them then you should take a breather.

Anyway, I hope to be a friend who stays through the negativity, to nurse the wounds and breath back life, to share the little positivity I may have and help fight the 'demons' of negativity. It is important to look after ourselves so that we can look after others, but I refuse to let entitled self-care consume me and steal my friends, and my impact, as I have seen happen to others.

Personally, I think training ourselves to absorb what builds us and discard what doesn't is a better approach than the attempt to eliminate negativity altogether. Like they say, it's easier to wear shoes than carpet the whole world;)
Perhaps it is something we can aim for as we navigate this emerging, sometimes confusing, but all important field of self-care. Wouldn't you say?
Take care sister Thelma, and stay your generous sparkly, always :)

Thelma obani 2020
Mar 08
Mar 08

Thanks Nini. Much love

Laetitia Shindano
May 03
May 03

Bonjour et merci pour le partage de ce bel hymne d'amour de soi .

Jun 25
Jun 25

Thank you for sharing and highlighting key issues we all battle with-self love. I know the challenge can be balancing between self love and not becoming selfish. Self love should be our no 1 rule