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Choosing Happiness

July 20, 2010
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I’m going to dive right in and get down to the nitty-gritty.  It’s the first post for this brand new, baby blog.  Mazeltov!

Let’s make it worth something!

Merriam-Webster.com defines self-love as “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage.”

Regard for one’s own happiness.  That sounds so good and so simple, right?  Loving yourself in order to promote your own happiness.

Yet so many people, especially women, have such a difficult time with this.  People tear themselves down when they should be building themselves up! I think most people want to love themselves but they have been raised in a time where supermodels, millionaires and professional athletes are idealized.  And we come to expect ourselves to be 6 feet tall, perfectly toned (but your muscles shouldn’t be too big, of course) fashionistas with no cellulite, perfect teeth and hair, a big house, fancy cars and big bank accounts.  Oh, and skinny.  Don’t forget – we should be skinny.  That can be a lot of pressure if you’re, say, a 5’4″ girl who wears a size 9, has big thigh muscles and a bit of cellulite (and some stretch marks), makes less than $20K a year and drives a 2001 Saturn.  I mean…  that’s just an example… but, you know, it could make a girl dive into a little self-hate head first.  And you can witness woman (and men) all over doing this very same thing.  Hating themselves instead of loving who and what they are.  Somehow it’s gotten harder to acknowledges ourselves proudly and easier to just dismiss ourselves and our accomplishments. But we don’t just dismiss ourselves, we put ourselves down.  We’re mean and critical.  Of ourselves!  We’ve been taught by our society that we should hate ourselves if we’re not perfect.  And, boy, have we taken that message to heart.

I’m not going to go into where that message has come from but it’s obvious to me that far too many people are negative about themselves, physically and mentally/emotionally, and no one benefits from this self-hate.

Think about it.  How much happier would you be on a daily basis if looked at yourself less critically and loved yourself more?  How would it feel to love yourself despite any perceived faults?  To love all of yourself as you are?  It doesn’t mean not wanting to improve yourself, it means loving yourself as you evolve and embracing the life you have even as you work to make it better.  It means having a regard for your own happiness.  It means not waiting until you get there (what ever “there” might be for you) to allow yourself to love you.

That girl I was talking about?  Yeah, that’s me.  I’m 29, soon to be 30, and I’m 5’4″ and currently sitting here in a pair of size 9 pants.  I don’t earn a lot of money or drive a fancy car (but I like that little Saturn!).  I have big quads, huge calves, a little bit of a belly pooch and I break out far more than I’d like, never mind the cellulite and stretch marks.  But I love me.  I am strong, determined and capable.  I am creative and quirky. I’m fun.  I’m a good person.  I make adorable baby quilts and beautiful jewelry.  I have great eyes, strong abs, semi-defined biceps (I’m getting there!) and nice shoulders.  Have I always loved myself?  No.  There have been times where I have hated myself, both physically and mentally/emotionally.  I’ve torn myself down and made myself cry.  I picked myself apart physically and berated myself mentally.  I hurt myself deeply.  But I am done with all of that.  Not too long ago I realized the self-hate, that was what I really disliked about myself.

Of course, transitioning from hate to love is not something that is easily done.  I still struggle with loving myself sometimes.  It’s easy to slip back into that old self-hating habit.  I really struggle with it in terms of my job and feeling successful though sometimes I do find myself being critical of myself physically.  It’s a process and I am determined to make my life more about love and happiness and less about negative thoughts.

And that is what this blog is about/for – the process and journey of loving yourself and choosing happiness.

So where does running come into all of this?  I’ll get to that in my next post!  Promise!

~~~~

If you don’t love yourself, how can you fully accept the love of others?


What do you love about yourself?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel permalink
    July 22, 2010 9:34 pm

    I love my eyes, and the fierce love I have for my family and friends. I’m learning to love the rest of me. Right now I’m not a very big fan of Me, but I’m working on changing that. 🙂

    • July 22, 2010 10:10 pm

      You’re an awesome person. Sometimes it can take some time to come to that self-realization but I think this is one of those area where you can “fake it ’til you make it.”

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