Why exactly is it so hard to love who we are? The skin we live in? Why can’t we believe in all those self worth books, inspirational talks, yoga teachers telling us we are enough? Why can’t we accept our strengths but also weakness, limitations, bits of adipose or the way we move or speak? Why can’t we simply let the love that we have for others spread over ourselves too?

We try really hard to appear attractive, smart, kind, worthy and validate our actions for everything we do but we forget that no one can actually do a better job of being you than you. Over the years I have noticed that the reasons are different for each person but the ones that recur are:

  • all the negative experiences, comments and remarks stick like glue. We, as human beings are much more likely to remember and hold to the negatives said or done to us, than the positives. It gets even further and we ignore or completely forget all the positive evidence of our beauty, choosing to stick to the negatives.

  • we are also born into an environment that is based on the need for approval, which means that our primary focus IS approval, not self acceptance. We go out into the harsh world where our beauty is compared to others, and suddenly, our self loving thoughts have vanished. Then, we feel it’s wrong to love ourselves. It's shameful and narcissistic.

We have tendency to attach labels to everything we do, to how we look and perform, to others. Since we already do this, go and grab a bunch of post-it notes. Type a loving message on each page. What every comes to mind. It may feel a little bit odd at the beginning, so think about someone you love dearly, our partner, child, friend maybe even a pet. What would you like to tell them every day when you see them, what is that you love about them. Put it in this format ‘YOU ARE ….’

If you happen to live with someone, ask hem to stick one note every day on your bathroom mirror in the evening, just before going to bed. If you live by yourself, do it yourself and just go to bed after you have done it. 

How do you feel after a week, or even after the first morning when you wake up and this is the first thing you see? How does it feel when at the time of looking in the mirror you know you are enough. How does your life feels like when you don’t care about the aesthetics, pre-considered notions and you move to the place where you love exactly who you are right now?

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
— Thich Nhat Hanh