It’s so easy to see the beauty in the ones around us, but I think we can all agree it’s harder to see the beauty in ourselves. I’ve struggled with this concept my whole life and sadly I bet most of you have as well. Today I want to tell you part of my story and how I struggled through my teenage years. I also want to share a few of my tips to start loving yourself more! So grab a snack and your PSL (or whatever else you drink....), this will probably be long one!
In my middle school and high school years I struggled with self love and personal image a lot. I tried so hard to fit society’s standards even when I would never meet them. And I’m not just talking about looks. I’m talking about getting straight A’s, being athletic, juggling school and work and clubs and friends and family, all while getting hardly any sleep but still being expected to get up and do it all over again each and every day.
News flash guys!! I’M NOT A SUPERHUMAN!!!!
But I felt like I had to be for a lot of my life. Then last summer I had a wake up call. If you’ve been following along here for a while you probably know I’m gluten free, and if you don’t well, now you know another interesting fact about Shannon’s life! I’m gluten free for a reason and that reason is because of my health. In June of 2015 I started having severe heart palpitations and asthma attacks. They would occur late at night when I was already low on sleep and they would last for hours, sometimes even days. I would become so mentally and physically drained that I would have to skip work, clubs and even school. I went to doctor after doctor and no one could seem to figure out what was wrong with me. I had one tell me that it was nothing but anxiety and “I should see a therapist”. I cried all the time at this point in my life. I was more stressed than I had ever been. Finally we found a doctor who figured out my problem. And thankfully it was nothing too serious.
But that summer of intense stress and pain helped me to take a look at the life I was living. It wasn’t healthy to be that stressed all the time.
My senior year of highschool I began focusing more time on myself and putting more into what I loved and less into what I didn’t. I realized I had lost friends and endless memories that could never be replaced because I was too busy trying to get ahead. And now as a Freshman in college I’m taking a lighter class load, I’m making a point to spend time with my loved ones, I’m limiting my work hours and I’m focousing my energy on what really matters. So finally here are my tips for you!
Why waste your time on anyone who makes you anything less than happy? Everyone has their issues and arguments now and then, but if anyone consistently makes you feel down in the dumps why are they in your life? Think long and hard about that question. You deserve to be surrounded by people who truly love you and believe in your abilities and talents. They should be the kind of people who want nothing more for you than to believe in yourself and be HAPPY.
Those days when you just feel a littler better about everything, when you got an A on the big test, when you did your eyeliner perfectly even, when you finished the project you've been working on for ages, pat yourself on the back on those days! Take a moment and just remind yourself that you did it. You did great. You're doing good. You're beautiful. You are loved.
There’s a quote I love by Clinton Kelly, it reads: “I realized this week that I just cannot do it all. So I will choose to do what I can fabulously.” Guys, I know it’s tough. I struggle with it still every day! But you cannot put 100% into everything you do. It’s just not possible. So as I mentioned above, find what you love, what your passionate about and put your all into those things!
I really believe that the reason we all struggle with self love is because we’re always trying to be something we’re not. So focus on being yourself! That is who you are best at being! Maybe you struggle in math (like me!), but someone else probably envies your ease in english. Maybe you hate your brown hair, but someone else probably thinks it's beautiful!
In any time of doubt look to the Bible and look to Him. When you are less than happy with yourself check out these verses: Psalm 46:5, Proverbs 31:25, Romans 8:18, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:6, and Philippians 4:13.
I hope this post could bring a smile to your face or a little inspiration to your evening!
What are your tips to love yourself more?