Self-love is learned. No one ever tells you that. We act like you just tell yourself one day. Then you wake up the next morning and just like that, you are in love with yourself.
Self-love is a process. Self-awareness is a process. Self-acceptance is a process. The hardest part of the process is that the approval from others comes only after you have successfully maneuvered at least part of that process. People do not accept you fully until you have accepted yourself fully. Even worse, some that you thought loved you the most will not accept the newly developed you at all.
You will find some that distance themselves. Some will make nasty comments about you to others. Some will make nasty comments about you to you. Some people will make you doubt whether you, the real you, are really worth loving…that is, until you decide that you are worth loving.
Self-love is not accomplished overnight. It is a journey, not a destination. You uncover the new layers of yourself along the way – layers you never knew existed. You alone have to accept those layers – over and over, again and again.
You alone have to make the decision that you deserve love just as much as anyone else. And when I say you, I am talking to me. I thought if I could just make my house look a certain way, if I could just make my Instagram look a certain way, if I could just make my kids look (and act) a certain way, my hair look a certain way, my life look a certain way…that I could fit in. Others could accept me and love me so that, in turn, I could accept me and love me.
If I could just fit the mold…then they could love me…the way my husband loves me…so that I could love me.
I am not mommy enough for some. I am not Christian enough for some. My hair is not natural enough for some. My marriage is not showy enough for some. I am not “coachy” enough for some and “teachery” enough for others.
The more layers I processed, the more confused I became. I did not fit anywhere. So I began to process less and accept more. The more I accepted, the more I loved. The more I loved myself, the more I recognized certain patterns of thinking that I will now share with you as you are also learning self-love in the crazy over-obsessed self-care, self-indulgent, self-centered society.
1. Fitting in is overrated.
I could not do it. The more I tried, the more they shut me out. You pick the they. You have been there. The more you tried to fit the standard, the further you had to reach. It was not until I decided to be myself that I had anything to contribute. I always felt like a square peg trying to force my way into a round hole, but people do not need more round pegs. They do not need more of the same. Those that do are NOT MY CROWD!! I could never be round enough for them. The rest acknowledge that they need my voice…your voice. They need your perspective. They do not need you to be them, they need you to complement them.
2. You are not alone.
Someone else is not mommy enough, not coachy enough, and not teachery enough. Someone is not Christian enough. Someone’s natural hair is not natural enough. Someone has a house full of half-done Pinterest projects. Someone else is a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I cannot begin to describe the sigh of relief that came out of me the day I tried to ask my “work wife” what she was doing on a Thursday at the end of the day on Monday. Her response, “I’m working on tomorrow.” Finally, another square peg. It was like looking in the mirror! There is always someone else just trying to get through tomorrow.
3. You were born to stand out.
You may be a star peg, a heart peg, or an oval peg. Perhaps you are a diamond, triangle, rectangle, octagon peg mix. You have something unique about you that no one else has to offer. Social media has made it so simple to tie your value to the number of likes on a photo or a status, to the number of comments, to the number of friends, followers, or subscribers. Standing out has nothing to do with stats. When a coach stops to tell me to tell my husband thank you for a phone call after a rough day, that is standing out. When I go in search of the perfect meme, and find dozens of others I would like to repost from that same page, that is standing out.
An unexpected care package in the middle of a rough season with zero expectation of the returned favor, that is standing out. Standing out is who you are when no one is watching. Standing out is faith over fear. Standing out is the day you decide you are your own number one fan flaws and all.I am not here because I have perfected self-care, self-acceptance, or self-love. I am here because someone needs to know that self-love is learned. Accepting the layers is learned. I am here because my Best Friend asked me to document the process, even when I do not feel like it, even when I feel like I am not as far along as I should be.
I am here as a representative for all the square pegs. I am here to tell you that you can both be an underdog and root for the underdog simultaneously. I am here to tell you to go ahead and shine even when you feel that know one notices or appreciates your light.
Everyone could use a little light. We could all stand for just a little more light. We could all use a little more of your ordinary.
Fitting in is overrated. The world needs you to stand out.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
What are some ways that you stand out?
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