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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 56
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
I Believe in Self Love
Olive Smith
I believe in self love. To me, self love is the acceptance of one’s self in that given moment in time. This is an important attitude to have in life. We only have one body, and as far as we know, we only have one life, so we need to find comfort in who we are.
When I was in middle school I struggled with this notion of self love. I would tell my friends to love themselves, yet I struggled to do the same. As a young female, I struggled with acceptance and body dysmorphia. I hated how I looked ,and would scrutinize every little detail about myself. This degraded my self esteem, my outlook on life, and created a negative relationship between my mind and my body. In addition to causing emotional damage, it also affected my relationships with family and friends. In turn I also became detached from the people I loved. I was living an endless cycle of hypocrisy. If I were to attempt to rid myself of these negative thoughts and heal, I had to learn to accept who I was and grow as an individual who would love what I could become. I would have to truly love myself before I could love others.
Breaking the cycle of hypocrisy was not an easy feat. I had to be very intentional. I took little steps to try and improve my self confidence. I allowed myself to rest when I was tired .I also set time for myself to journal positive attributes about myself during the day. I meditated when I felt stressed or though negatively about myself, and these things all helped. I learned how to appreciate my body and recognize how much it has done for me. Without my body, I wouldn’t be able to bike to the top of Raccoon Mountain or savor long, hot baths. Without my brown eyes I would not be able to see all of beautiful nature that surrounds me. With out my round nose I wouldn’t be able to smell the delectable scent of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, rain on a summer’s day. My so called flaws were actually not flaws, but instead gifts. I didn’t realize or fully appreciate how lucky I was to have a body that could experience the world around me. Committing to this intention allowed me to view my body in a positive way and treat it positively too. I found foods that would fuel my body and not shame myself for the occasional guilty pleasure.
Eventually I became more comfortable in my own skin and was able to express love inwards, through my journaling and meditation, and small steps towards healing. Life in and around me started to be much happier. Relationships with family and friends deepened. I appreciated life and was happy.
Self love has allowed me to grow as a person, and heal from my past. I learned to care of myself and be able to love others, and myself. I realized one must love themselves to proffer a happy life, and that is why I believe in self love.