find yourself first

Hey y’all. This is my first of many posts, so this one may seem a bit informal, sporadic, random, a hodgepodge if you will (ba dum tss). I’m just typing this as the ideas roll along, so here we go…

If anyone follows me on social media, you might have noticed my posts over the past year dealing with self-love and self-affirmation.

I’m going to touch on those words a little more today because it’s so important and I’d like to start my first post off with something positive! I hope my story and words touch at least one person today.

On March 11th, I went and got my first tattoo. I got “Love Yourself” on my left wrist. The idea came to me nearly a year before, but I wanted to wait and see if I truly wanted a tattoo before moving forward with this idea. Finally, I thought “what better time than now?” and I went for it.

What makes this piece of ink so special to me is that it is written in my mother’s handwriting. I asked her to write out the phrase because she has taught me and my sister to love ourselves for as long as I can remember. She has taught me to never apologize for who I am. It’s easier said than done and I have my days where I tend to forget her advice, but now I can’t help but smile when I look down at my wrist.

For years, I struggled to accept myself. To love myself. To even believe in myself. I tried to gain acceptance from other people and always came up short. People told me I was too loud, too quiet, too weird. People told me I was ugly, unattractive, fat, etc. I began buying into all of these ideas and spiraling into a place of self-deprecating humor and negative thinking.

During those difficult times, however, the negativity from others was diminished by the love of my family and friends. It was diminished by the love God has for me. It was diminished by the love that He has for all of His children. It was diminished by the feeling of knowing that the people I loved accepted me for who I was, for how I dressed, for how I talked, and for what I cared about. I began feeling accepted and loved simply for being myself.

Yet, I still couldn’t shake those feelings of inferiority. I soon realized that despite being loved unconditionally by my friends and family I needed to show that same kindness and love to myself.

I know what you’re thinking. Wow, Nicole. That’s so profound. We all definitely haven’t heard the “love yourself” talk before.

But hear me out guys, it’s easier said than done. I’m sure most of you would say that you love yourself, but what does that mean to you? It’s a personal journey for everyone. You may say and think it, but do you truly believe it?

We live in a world filled with billions of people, so it’s inevitable to compete with one another. Whether it’s in the classroom, in the workplace, in the confusing world that is college dating, or even social media.. we’re constantly comparing ourselves to other people.

Once we find that place of love and acceptance within ourselves we learn that we are more than enough. You learn to admire others without discrediting yourself. You learn that “yes they’re great, but I can be great, too”.

“A flower does not think of competing with the one next to it. It just blooms.”

We spend more time with ourselves than any other person in this world. I think it would be beneficial for us to get to know ourselves and love ourselves. 

Sometimes sitting alone with ourselves and our thoughts can scare us. We’d rather surround ourselves with others and rely on them to build us up, but we’ve first got to be our own foundation. A foundation of love, confidence, and belief in our abilities and worth.

Once we’ve built that foundation, we can better love ourselves and better love each other as a result.

This expands beyond just physical appearance, but also believing in ourselves. Self-love also means embracing our values, our beliefs, our passions, and our interests. Self-love is not having to explain to someone why we act a certain way, why we do or don’t do a certain thing, but instead, being ourselves unapologetically.

Remember to find yourself first. Life’s too short to seek someone to complete our lives or to complete us when we have the ability to create our own happiness. If someone does not treat you with the respect or kindness you undoubtedly deserve, that does not reflect poorly on you, but on them. Don’t sell yourself short or settle for anything less than you deserve. You are great.

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We’ve got to build each other up and love on each other :))

People need people.

Until Next Time,

Nicole

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