When you really love yourself, you stop trying to be perfect. You painfully figure out (after years of “trying”) that perfection is a myth and the thought that you could ever fit a random definition of what that means is absurd. Finally, you let yourself off the hook, you give yourself a break, and accept the “good, the bad and the ugly” – – all of who you are. Once this knowledge really sinks in, you take a look around and realize you can stop expecting others to be perfect too. Your sky high ideals weren’t winning you any friends anyway.
When you learn to love yourself, you stop denying your “faults” and start accepting them as part of who you are. You stop hiding behind that false façade of control and let the real you out to play, on occasion. You discover that people don’t reject you for not knowing everything or being great at everything. You come to realize that those things we label “faults” aren’t really faults at all, but just the interesting and complex fabric of who we are. They are what make us real.
When we really love ourselves, we find that we can no longer overlook our precious and very real needs. We begin to ask for what we want and we learn to receive (sometimes the harder of the two). We learn that it’s okay to have needs, that it doesn’t make us less or weak or incomplete to need and want exactly what we need and want. Because this is such a hard lesson and a tough thing to give ourselves, when we do, we begin to honor and validate other people’s desires equally. We don’t get upset or frustrated when someone has a need; instead we see it as a rare opportunity to give, to share, to express our love.
Once you are deeply in love with YOU, you learn to forgive yourself for all of your “mistakes” as well as things outside of your control. Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself and others before any thought or action even needs it. It is an allowance and a freedom to be human. You let go of things easier and let circumstances pass quickly without attachment or struggle. You become much more accepting of the mistakes others make, understanding that they, like yourself, probably don’t even know what they’re doing-because when we make a faux pas we’re usually oblivious to how our actions affect others, until later – sometimes, much later. We almost NEVER do it on purpose.
An essential part of loving yourself is learning what it takes to really make yourself happy and going after that with all your heart and soul. True, it may have taken you a while to figure out what makes your heart sing – you probably tried lots of things that didn’t work before you finally listened and learned that the answer wasn’t out there, but in here (tapping the chest) where no one else can hear. Once you recognize that the pursuit of happiness is unique to each individual, you tend to allow others more freedom to pursue their own happiness without conditions, judgment or expectations…without your rules.
When we love ourselves, it is so much easier to recognize where we fit in and where we don’t. We stop trying to force our lives or our hearts into spaces and places where they just don’t fit. It’s just too damn uncomfortable. No more square pegs jammed into round holes. It’s painful to try to be someone you are not and once you know that, you begin to appreciate others for the part they play in life. You don’t expect them to act, think, or be like you. You look at them differently, specially, and maybe even allow them to be valuable too.