Be kinder to the person in the mirror

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Our social media lives are, to some extent, dictated by likes.  How many likes we give and how many we receive.  I’m not a massive fan of either. I will only like what I really do resonate with, and that includes on family and friends’ social media accounts. If they just posted a picture of something cute, I’m not going to press the like button unless there’s something meaningful behind it.  I don’t engage just because I feel I should because if I don’t I’ll hurt their feelings.  The same goes the other way.  I have no idea how many, or who likes anything I post.  And I don’t care.  That’s not why I posted something.

But how much easier is it to like and accept others, including strangers on the internet, yet when we look in the mirror, we find it hard to like to person we see?

Fearne Cotton has written several books I have enjoyed about finding yourself and being more compassionate towards yourself.  Having gone through periods of depression, Fearne speaks from a place of personal experience and growth, not as someone who read a few articles about it.

She suggests in an article in Grazia magazine that self-compassion is more than just feeling ok about the bits of ourselves we believe are good, but about cultivating compassion for the whole package.  It becomes an ephemeral notation if self-love is only about celebrating ourselves in moments of success which can be gone in a flash, leaving us depleted.

Cotton says that liking yourself is the most natural thing you can do, but this is likely to come as a surprise to a lot of people. We are offered tips on how to like ourselves more and build self-compassion, but its been there all along, we just haven’t learned how to tap into it. Its something we are born with and as small babies and children we thrive on moving from one thing we love to the next, experiencing fun and joy and love.  Its only as we grow up we pick up societal cues and social conditioning, that erodes our sense of self-love. Whether its being told to be quiet, get in line, or work harder.

Cotton poses that we need to learn to undo all that social conditioning to reveal our natural and already thriving self-love. We spend so much time trying to eat better, sleep better, exercise better, be a better friend/partner/parent, but without self-love it’s pointless.  How can we give full, unfettered love to others when we can’t even give it to ourselves?

When you love yourself, all those things fall in to place, you’ll eat better, sleep when you’re tired, be with people who bring you joy and do more of what you love with the people you love, because deep down, you know you deserve it.

Love yourself and everything else will sort itself out.  Try it.


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