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Why I don't strive for self-love
May 12, 2021

Reading time 2 min.

It's not all love all the time when it comes to my relationship with myself and my body and that’s okay. I now sort of giggle at myself for thinking I would reach this peak where I would suddenly stop having negative thoughts and doubting myself.

Fuck self-love.

No offense, but it’s not real. I appreciate and accept my body, but it is not some perfect blissed-out relationship. We have a long complicated history, and to expect perfection with a past like ours isn't realistic.

Our brain works in patterns. I like to think of them as streams of water. The water flows down the stream with the least resistance. I had 22 years of hard self-dislike. Those streams are deep. Of course, the water is going to flow down them sometimes and that is okay!

I have carved out new streams that include much more acceptance, which is where the water flows most of the time now, but it's not perfect and it's not supposed to be.

We will never reach a space in time where we stop having negative thoughts. The goal is not to eliminate negative thinking. The goal is to get to a place where you don’t believe the negative thoughts as deeply. A place where you can see it for what it is; a pattern.

Not believing your negative thoughts helps take their power away.

My brain will tell me my thighs are too big because of things she has been taught to believe about her body. It is not because my thighs are actually too big, and I don’t actually believe there is a “small enough” size for thighs.

The big difference is that I no longer feel like I have to do something about my negative thoughts. They don’t have control over me. Whereas before my brain would start running through all the spaces I could cut carbs to make my thighs smaller.

We don't just choose to be confident, and I would go as far as to guess that those who repost the “be confident” memes don't have very sustainable confidence.

My self-value has no stipulations. My value is the same no matter what this body looks like. I have the same value when I am lean and in really good shape versus when I am bloated after a weekend with friends.

I have just as much value when I am sobbing over a boy that doesn’t like me as I do when I am guiding women to build self-esteem.

It doesn’t need to be love. It just needs to be like.

I am always trying, and I really like that about myself.

Leave your comments / questions

Hi Emma!

Sorry for such a late reply, I hadn't been active on Corespirit for a bit. I love that you strive for acceptance over love - that's amazing! The biggest bit of advice I can give here is rather than liking/loving/hating the things you do/say/accomplish - instead - focus on liking yourself for trying at all. This looks like working on building the trust for yourself that you are always doing the best you can in each moment. Your "best" doesn't mean it looks good, it means that given the resources, emotions, fears, thoughts, and information that you had at the time, you acted in the best way you could have at that moment. You don't get to look back on the sweet girl who was doing her best and shame her now that you have more information. That's not fair!

Hope that helps :)

Emma Gardner3y

Wow, I absolutely agree with you. I also do not strive for the love for myself that everyone around me is promoting. I accept myself, but don’t like and do not strive to do it. Lack of love for myself encourages me to improve myself, and not to leave everything is as it is. The problem is just how to keep a balance between just not loving yourself and hating yourself. Can you please give any advice on how to successfully maintain this balance?

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