In the media and even from our friends and family members, we often hear that aging is a blessing or that true confidence and freedom comes with age, but for some women it just doesn’t feel like that. If you’ve always struggled with self-love and acceptance or if your changing life and appearance has been harder on you than you imagined, you may feel quite the opposite. Perhaps you’ve never felt true love for yourself or you’re looking for ways to find it again. Either way, it is possible to learn to love yourself no matter how old you are.
Before you can love yourself though, you have to know who you are. Have you ever taken a good, long, soulful and subjective look at who you are as a person? What brings you joy and what makes you unhappy? What you like to do? What types of foods you enjoy eating? What type of people you like to spend your time with? What gifts and talents you have? What things do other people love about you? Do you see what others see?
Take time to discover yourself. Journaling, meditation, prayer, honest conversations with loved ones or even counseling are all good ways to start. However you choose to go about looking inward, it should be something you enjoy. If it’s too difficult, uncomfortable or painful, you may give up and that’s counterproductive.
Invest in yourself. Once you figure out who you are, invest some of your resources in fostering and nurturing your best characteristics, qualities, skills and talents. Don’t waste time on the things you don’t personally enjoy or that you have no desire to get better at or do more of regardless of what anyone else tells you. Accept your interests and talents and pursue them. Soon you will begin to love the uniqueness of them and the joy they bring you.
Expect some negative feelings to come out, but don’t let them break you. Loving yourself may require you to dig deep and uncover why the self-love is lacking in the first place. But once you do, you’ll be better equipped to move forward with care and tenderness.
Regardless of how you feel, make a conscious effort to treat yourself with love and respect. Whether you believe it or not, you deserve it, and if you simply start treating yourself that way before you know it, you may actually begin to feel it.
Cut the fat. And no, I don’t mean on your waistline. You can love that too. What I mean is that you should trim the harmful or useless things and people out of your life. If there’s anyone or anything in your life that makes you feel less than worthy or less than lovable, address it and move on. You don’t need anyone else’s negativity affecting your self-worth.
Also read: Making character flaws work in your favor