How Do You Love You?

Someone wise once said, "... we are our own worst critics." We spend so much time figuring out ways to be better and do better, dwelling on how we could have reacted or done something different, nitpicking and pulling ourselves apart based on our appearance and other shallow qualities and criticizing ourselves to the point of creating new insecurities. We simply ignore all the things that are great about ourselves. The sad fact of the matter is that the little old cliche is accurate. We ARE our own worst critics. 

How many times have you seen someone with something or some quality that you want and quickly created that ginormous green monster named envy? How many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror and was less than pleased with what was staring back at you? How many times have you fled from a situation in fear of what others would think because you view yourself as less than capable?

My answer is, "way too many."

In the twenty-four years of my life, I've done enough evaluating. I'm done evaluating and trying to change myself to only be left with a cluttered mess of insecurities. In the last year of my life, I've grown confident and I am proud of who I am. Although I'm not where I've envisioned myself being at this point, I'm proud of my path. 

We are preconditioned to folding under the opinions of others. The media pushes out this image of who we should be based on external factors such as; race, gender and social status. We are fed stereotypes and are expected to carry out the stigmas associated with it. There lied my biggest insecurity. I've dealt with issues regarding my weight and who I was supposed to be as a black man. I'm not going to go into too much detail in regard to that, I'm going to save that for a later post... I just felt that I didn't fall into any of the stereotypes associated with it. I pushed and tried to put on a false aura of confidence... when in reality, people could have cared less. 

I wanted to feel accepted. I have a fairly large circle of friends and a supportive family. I was surrounded by love but I wanted more. I guess what I really wanted was to love myself. I think so many people struggle with that. We become consumed with what we don't have that we overlook things that we do. That's exactly what I did. 

I'm so glad to not care anymore and just live my life. I have a newly found freedom in being myself and it's helped me love myself unconditionally, as well as my flaws. 

My favorite thing about myself is... well, myself. 

I like the way I look, I like my lips and eyes, I'm comfortable in my skin, I love that I'm a great friend and I'm so thankful for my warm and light personality. I love that I'm surrounded by an amazing group of family and friends that understand and support me, regardless. I have several best friends that constantly let me know that they appreciate my advice, support and friendship. I never do anything for recognition and they know that, but it feels great to be appreciated for small gestures. 

It's so easy to self-depreciate ourselves. It's harder to learn to love ourselves despite everything. Instead of looking into things that you don't have, take a look at all that you have and appreciate that. 

So I pose to you this question. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

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