Every day, almost everywhere we look we're bombarded with someone else's idea of perfection. We're told, "You need this," "You should wear this" and "You need to be this way or that way," but no one tells us that we're just fine.
In this society of "whoever has the most toys wins," no one really does.
A perfect example of self-sabotage is the story Madame Bovary. It's a story about a woman who has it all: a loving and devoted husband, wonderful children, a beautiful house, public standing and respect, and a family who loves her dearly.
When she was young, she went to a fancy ball at a count's home. For the rest of her life she compared everything to that one night. Nothing she ever had was enough. She cheated on her husband and ran them into debt to fill the hole in her life that she, herself, had created.
In the end, she ruined herself and her family all because nothing was ever good enough for her.
We do that to ourselves with negative thinking about our bodies, wanting more things, and trying to make ourselves something we aren't. We watch TV and movies and see perfection: the perfect romance and the dashing hero saving the damsel, where everyone is beautiful, heroic and perfect.
That's fiction. We need to learn to accept ourselves and enjoy the good things we have in our own lives. That's reality and the only way to really love one's self.
Here are a few areas where you may be comparing yourself to others. You'll find out how to get away from the "societal norm" so you can be on your way to loving yourself for who you are.
Hollywood would have us think that everyone is tanned, skinny, fit and has perfect hair, teeth and skin. But it's all a facade! You can't compare yourself to that imagined picture of beauty.
Your personal beauty comes from inside you. Write down the things that you love about yourself. If you're overweight and unhappy about it, then do something! Change how you eat or get out and walk a little everyday. Not everyone is a supermodel, nor is everyone supposed to be.
If you're stuck in a job you hate, find a new one. If your work is making you physically ill, it's time to move on. That misery you feel will carry over to the rest of your life.
Figure out what you love doing and then find a way to get paid to do it. It's not easy, and it might not happen overnight, but if you love what you do, your entire life outlook improves.
We're bombarded with ads for stuff and they all look so amazing. We find ourselves wanting more and more things, but do we really need them? Possessions won't fill any personal void you have or provide you with true happiness.
What is it you're missing in your life? Figure that out and then fill that need, but be honest and realistic with yourself about it.
If you're in a healthy relationship and you're truly in love for several decades, then you're very blessed. In reality, as a relationship goes on for months and years, it may not be that whirlwind of romance anymore, and you can't always expect your partner to be breathtaking.
Yet, no matter what you see on TV, a relationship always takes work and sacrifices. Think of ways to make your relationship feel new and exciting, and take joy in the fact that you have someone who loves you.
The past is just that - the past. You can't do anything about the past, except learn from it. You can't base your life around a singular event no matter how great or terrible it was. All you can do is remember and learn from it.
Don't let something that happened eat you up and destroy your future. Instead, think about how you can become better from it, and then make the commitment to move forward.
Lastly, remember that you are who you are. Everyone is supposed to be different; it's what makes you special. There's no one in the world who is exactly like you and that makes you special, unique and amazing.
Talk to the people who care about you. They can help you see yourself the way they do. This can help you understand why they love you and why you should love yourself.
Heed these tips to find a renewed satisfaction in yourself, your loved ones, and your life. You'll be glad you did!
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