A wise man once told me: "The only person you KNOW you'll grow old with is yourself."
But learning to love yourself is easier said then done, especially if it's either not in your nature, or you've completely killed that functionality during the years.
When I was 16, I learned self-criticism, when constructive, is helpful to grow and develop.
I'm an extremist in most ways, and this I took this on so passionately I forgot to be constructive.
Suddenly, nothing I did was good enough. I never liked the way I looked, talked, or thought anymore.
Thus: I am on a new mission. I want to love myself. Irrevocably, endlessly, bottomlessly, to
I like myself. I really do. There was a point (this year even) when I didn't. But I won it back. I like myself more each day.
Yet I am too harsh, too critical, too insecure.
I'm also ill (subject for a different day), which needs it's own care, time and healing process.
But this new mission will help. I know it will.
I did some research.
I stumbled on so many "do-it-yourself" love yourself tips and tricks, mostly written by people to whom it comes naturally, or have taught themselves to be pro's. I have yet to find a piece by anybody just starting this challenge (which would be my 2016 challenge, if it weren't for the simple fact I want to start today. Now. Yesterday, if I could.)
The most helpful (and contextually challenging) is these three steps.
The most motivational piece full of (almost) SMART goals was the 10 Ways to Practice Self-Love.
There are 30 ways to learn to love yourself and be happy with the world, but it really boils down to just listening to who you are, what you want, and doing it.
Things will not be perfect, so stop aiming for change. Stop punishing yourself for actions or thoughts that happened. Stop being more critical towards yourself and judge yourself like you would your best friend, or your (inner) child. Would you be as harsh, then?
Also, acting on what you need, rather than on what you think you want.
Nourish yourself: Eat well (healthy, mainly), sleep enough, exercise (*cough*), set your boundaries (get to know them, first), be intimate, get social (friends are sacred), spoil yourself every now and then (massages, movie, warm bath, nice cup of tea. Think simple.).
Last (but not least): for comic relief (in Dutch though, sorry for those who won't understand it)
I've been attempting this mindfulness that is all the rage. It might be working. A little.
Might be ranting all about that next time.
Spoiler tip: Don't do the exercise with the raisin. Just. Don't.
Love (to myself, and you),