We often grow up believing that if we don’t look a certain way or dress like the girls plastered all over ads and magazines, that we are automatically unloveable. We associate our self worth with the reflection in the mirror, and if what’s looking back at us has less than perfect skin, frizzy hair or crooked teeth, we begin to question if anyone will ever love us.
I know, because I’ve been there. I spent much of my childhood and teenage years unable to live a normal life because of these thoughts that consumed by mind, and created a very isolated life. I’m telling you now that they will keep returning, unless you consciously make the effort to let those thoughts pass and then replace them with new positive ones.
What I’m talking about here is ditching physical appearance entirely when complimenting yourself. Because after all, do you love your mom because of the way she looks? Sure, she’s probably the most beautiful person in your eyes. But I would be willing to bet your love for her has nothing to do with the way she looks and everything to do with her unconditional way of loving, or her selflessness, maybe her ability to change a horrible day into the best day ever.
What about your best friend? Do you love her because of her perfectly wavy hair. No. You love her because you can depend on her for anything, because she knows how you’re feeling before you even mention it. So if we love those closest to us for reasons that have nothing to do with physical appearance, shouldn’t we be trying to love ourselves the same way? I’m going to go ahead and say yes. The truth is that even the people you admire and love dearly, they also have insecurities of their own. We’re blind to whatever they’re talking about when they say they hate their thighs, or the gap between their teeth. All we can see when looking at them is inspiration, trust, unconditional love, strength, and the list goes on. We should learn to love ourselves in this way. Where we can look at ourselves and see a brilliant mind instead of a weird shaped head, or a mouth that speaks only words of kindness instead of crooked teeth. There are so many things more desirable than a perfectly symmetrical face or tiny waist.
Instead of spending all our time trying to appear perfect, lets spend our time do the following
- Reading more books
- Exploring the city we live in
- Listening, instead of talking
- Practicing the art of patience
- Giving more of your time
- Demonstrating selflessness
- Rejecting our fears
- Giving honest advice
- Creating art
- Being a source of guidance
By doing this we are making the world a better place, and committing to unconditional self and appreciation. Being a big hearted, smile maker, risk taker far exceeds seeing a perfect reflection in the mirror.
Looking back now, I can see how silly it was that I missed out on many experiences as a teenager, because I was too ashamed of the way that I looked. Now I spend my time making sure that I’m loving enough, giving enough and learning enough. I hope that you will too.
Shanna Rochon is a Culinary Nutrition Expert and Holistic Lifestyle Coach. She runs her blog http://www.shannarochon.com, coaches clients 1 on 1, and runs cooking workshops that educate and inspire others to build their own foundation of health. Shanna is committed to starting revolutions of health, dream chasing and unconditional self love.
Photo courtesy Flickr