“It’s OK to be yourself, and it’s OK to love yourself!”
I’ve never seen a t-shirt with the text “It’s OK to be yourself!” Why is that? Why is it so hard to accept ourselves as we are? Why do we continue to chase happiness? Why aren’t we content with who we are and who others are? We see it in ourselves, and we see it in relationships. When you fall in love with someone, they seem “perfect.” And then you try to change them. I’ve certainly been guilty of this. What gives? Why do we do it? I think the root of the problem lies within us. Do we really like the company we keep when we’re alone? If not, then we haven’t learned to love ourselves.
Learn when enough is enough
Once you learn to love yourself and accept yourself as you are, you’ll be much happier. And you’ll be able to accept others as they are. You won’t need to chase happiness anymore. Once you learn when enough is enough, there will always be enough, say Zen masters. Respect yourself, accept yourself and form a positive image of yourself. It’s OK to be you. Remember that no one is perfect. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has flaws. That’s the way life is. Learn to love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, how can you love others? What’s more, you can only love another to the degree that you do yourself.
Love your body, mind and spirit.
To love yourself means to accept yourself as you are and to come to terms with those aspects of yourself that you cannot change. It means to have self-respect, a positive self-image and unconditional self-acceptance. It means having a healthy regard for yourself knowing that you are a worthy human being. Be who you are! Have the courage to accept yourself as you really are, not as someone else thinks you should be. Don’t take action or pretend to be someone else for the sake of gaining acceptance.
Many young (and old for that matter) people believe that when they do things to please their peers, they will be popular and liked. They go against the advice of their parents or their own common sense only to find themselves in trouble and not accomplishing what they set out to do. When you do things that are not genuine or a reflection of the real you, you won’t be happy with yourself and will end up confused. You’ll be confused because you won’t know whom to please, or how.
Be true to yourself
Self-respect comes from being true to who you really are and from acting in accordance with your fundamental nature. When you respect yourself, others will respect you. Others will sense that you are strong and capable of standing up for yourself and your beliefs. When you are true to yourself and love yourself, you allow your individuality and uniqueness to shine through. You respect the opinions of others but do not conform to stereotypes or their expectations of you.
Make your own decisions
To be true to yourself and love yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you won’t let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.
I like the way rapper Eminem puts it in his song The Monster: “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed. I’m friends with the voices inside my head!” Follow your beliefs. Be yourself, not the person others think you should be. And yes, it takes courage to do this. Stop trying to please your peers to be popular. If you aren’t true to yourself, you will only end up confused. When you dare to respect yourself, you will find that others respect you. They will respect you for standing up for your beliefs, for your individuality and for your uniqueness. Respect the opinions of others, but don’t let others define who you should be. I also like the way Native American Shawnee Chief Tecumseh said in his famous prayer. He offers some much-needed wisdom for today’s world.
“So, live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, Perfect your life, Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
“Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the Great Divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a Friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the Joy of Living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the Spirit of its Vision.
“When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death Song and die like a Hero going Home.”
Life is right now
Be here now. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. Don’t let it pass you by. Don’t worry about the past or the future. Be a participant in life, and always keep moving forward. Look for the humor in life, laugh as much as you can and enjoy now. All you’ve really got is right now! Enjoy every day. Remember, it’s not how GOOD you are. It’s HOW you are good! And remember to tell yourself every day: “It’s OK to be me, and it’s OK to love me!”