The secret is to love yourself.
A lot of people look around and tell themselves when they see others: “This is how I wanna look/act like. I wanna have her/his hair, eyes, smile, I don´t like me, I´d rather be like this or that person.” But I am convinced, that to be happy, we have to like us how we are, we have to accept us. We have to spread self-love and acceptance. In this blog post, I will tell you my story regarding exactly that topic and how I help myself out of that everyday struggle. The key to happiness is to be truly yourself. Not someone else. But let´s dive deeper.
Ok, this first paragraph already contains a lot of hard tasks. Tasks we face every day, but often don’t even realize. Because we rarely listen to ourselves. At least that’s what I was missing out on a lot, especially when I was younger. I always thought about what other people might think. What other people find attractive or good looking. What other people liked on my appearance or even how other people wanted me to act. So I started to be what other people wanted me to be. And I wasn´t happy with that. I believe that no one who has thoughts like that in his or her head can be happy at that moment. Because we should rather like ourselves for who we are. Different. Individual. But let’s break it down, to make you understand even more what I am trying to say.
Learn to love yourself
When I was in school I got bullied. I got told how ugly I am and that the clothes that I am wearing are not good enough. Every single word I said was turned around and used against me. So I started to keep my mouth shut. At least while I was in school. But I was lucky enough to have friends outside of school. And I had my brother. Still, that feeling of getting dragged down by someone and all the words they said were stuck in my head. Because even though I could keep words back, I couldn´t keep my thoughts still. My mind wandered back to their words and so I was constantly worrying about how I should act and if my appearance was alright to everyone else. I got told that the way I am wasn´t ok. So I looked up pictures of others and wanted to have their hair. I wanted to have their body. I wanted to have their face. I wanted to be someone else. And I forgot to see myself. And that was stuck inside of me – and still is – a very long time.
It´s an everyday struggle
But this is not only when you get bullied. It is an everyday constant pressure that surrounds us. It is hard to like yourself, when society, the media, etc. is showing you a standard you simply cannot reach. Because we are all different. And it took 3 weeks in the hospital to change my mind about that. When I got very ill in 2013 I learned that I have to have a look at what’s good for me and my body. It took some more time to accept it. But then I changed my life dramatically. And so I learned to like myself more. Now, 6 years later I can say, that, especially after traveling for a while I learned to love myself. To like how I look like without makeup. To like my curls and my dark eyes. And I accepted that I will never be skinny.
But it is not only about your looks. There is much more behind it.
I don´t wanna spoil it – but yeah, it is all in your mind. It all goes down to the brain, that little thing that seems to control our whole life. And this is why it is so important to love yourself. I believe in Karma, and I do believe that a positive mindset will make others like you even more. And it is a circle that pushes itself. If others like you… you start thinking.. “hey, I am not that bad of a person maybe…” and you start liking yourself. And so you can improve.
Step by step I liked myself more. And the more positive and calmer my mind got, the happier I became in my body. Liking your thoughts will automatically lead towards liking yourself more. So what do you want to do then? Exactly. You wanna think good thoughts. You wanna see the good stuff and embrace life. This is the ultimate goal.
And so the circle continues: Loving yourself will then lead towards other people like you even more. They will see the sparkle in your eyes and the fire that you have within you.
You are not alone
Of course, it´s not all roses and sunshine. We all have our black days. Moments we feel uncomfortable. Situations when we fall back into old habits. I do and so does everyone else. People just don´t show that as often as their super shiny and perfect pictures and moments on all the social channels. But let´s be real to ourselves. We have all been there. You are not alone with this mess.
We don´t have to change within one day. Not even within one week. You can take as much time as you need to. (I mean it took me 10 years since my dad died and I am still far away from “being whole again”!) It´s your own life and you going as fast, as it is possible for you. One step at a time. That is fair enough! The secret behind is: You have to start! Remember: it´s a circle, you can also say a wheel, that, once it started rolling, will continue and just get stronger and stronger.
There will be good and there will be better days.
I often still struggle with this one negative thought, that has hunted me, ever since my dad died. “Why me” And I wanna be honest with you: I am such a clumsy person and often I fuck things up, like my Surfboards, my phone, .. and also the fact that I am chronically Ill hunted me a lot in exactly this thought. Within a millisecond this exact thought pops up in my head. “Why always me, why is this always happening to me?” I get angry with myself, I get sad. Sometimes I cry. I fall back into old habits. But I also notice that I get out of it quicker and quicker. I am getting better. I am improving. I am seeing the good behind it. It is training me. Then I sit down and turn on a meditation to listen to or sometimes I just go for a walk.
To help you making baby steps as well, I collected some of the rules I (try to) live by:
Let´s try to manifest life in the following way: there are only good and better days. Not a single day goes by without something amazing happening to you our around you. Whether it is a rainbow or a dip into a lake or the ocean. Waking up in your own home or being able to go to uni or work and have friends, colleagues and family members to give you hugs, nice words and share a coffee or tea with. Embrace the little things in life and make them bigger than anything negative that happens. So these are my little everyday steps, you can even say rules, that I live by:
- Stop comparing what others are doing. This is your world.
- Stop looking around you what others are up to. Close your eyes and listen to yourself. Do what YOU wanna do.
- Stop asking what others think about you or your options. Make a decision, no matter what other people would do.
- Start each day by imagining the best what could happen to you today.
- End every day with being thankful for at least three little things that happened to you.
- Smile to yourself. Often. And to others as well.
Baby steps towards Happiness
I know, it is said way easier than it is in real life. But step by step you will find your way. You just have to keep asking yourself these questions, keeping in mind your happiness. Focusing on what makes you smile. For me it is Surfing, Yoga, Traveling, talking to people. Exchanging ideas, memories. Being open and honest. Traveling changed me. And I am a different person now. I am the real me. The Traveler.