I found this lovely little video on YouTube today:
Isn’t he a cutie?
Did you listen to the lyrics of the song? A sweet little tune, a love song to himself.
I love this because it’s quite accurate in summing up a healthy relationship with oneself. It’s not all saccharine sweet, there are moments of self loathing and doubt. But when it all comes down to it, yourself is the one person you will always, ALWAYS have in your life. So you have to learn to love yourself, to be a healthy individual.
I am learning to love myself. Most of the time, I do ok. Sometimes the old recordings of self loathing come back, and it gets REALLY difficult. Sometimes other people’s recordings come in. Like my parents, or my brother, ex-boyfriends or even strangers who have been hurtful and hateful towards me. Those old recordings make it harder to love myself too. But I know now that they are just that – old recordings, that I have the power to switch off.
It’s hard for anybody to love themselves. We’re taught not to. Not to have tickets on ourselves, not to be “up yourself” (good Aussie term there), to be humble and self deprecating. Of course, we add those supposed to’s to the insecurities and harmful words of others, and we end up with a big pile of self loathing.
For we fatties, it’s even harder. People tell us every day that we’re somehow worth less than others, less than those who aren’t fat. It seems the bigger our bodies, the less our value is in our culture. We’re dehumanised, demonised and devalued. Facing that makes loving yourself REALLY hard.
But the thing is, we’re as worthy as anyone else. More worthy than the douchebags that get their kicks out of trying to hurt us. And you CAN love yourself if you are a fatty. You don’t need to be thin to love yourself.
For me, it was the realisation that I judge myself harder than I do any other person on this earth. When I realised that I demand things of myself that I would never expect of a friend or romantic partner, it was a huge leap towards being able to love myself. When I started listing the things that I found wonderful in other people, it had nothing to do with their physicality or shape or size. The things I have the most love for in other people are their intellect, their humour, their kindness, their respect. When I started asking myself if I met those criteria myself, I was surprised at how much of it I did.
Though, as I said, it is, and probably will always be a work in progress. While douchebags don’t get me down like they used to (though they try, the poor, sad things), sometimes the self criticism gets a bit beyond the healthy range. At least I recognise it pretty quickly now and re-train the brain back in to the right path.
What about you? Do you think you’re able to love yourself? Or do you need to find a way to make that happen?