“You have to accept yourself and love yourself just the way you are. You are what you are, and that is all you are. You don’t need to pretend to be something else. When you pretend to be what you are not, you are always going to fail.”
These words are so powerful. They come from an author I admire, Don Miguel Ruiz. I read his book “The Four Agreements” a few years ago and just recently read it again along with his book “The Mastery of Love.” Both are extremely quick reads (just a few hours”You have to accept yourself and love yourself just the way you are. You are what you are, and that is all you are. You don’t need to pretend to be something else. When you pretend to be what you are not, you are always going to fail.”) but contain a wealth of knowledge within the pages. Both books are also worth reading again and again. I feel that so many of us can benefit from his teachings.
More words that struck me from his writings:
“To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourself is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live by other people’s points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and not being good enough for someone else.”
Life can be tough. We give so much to others and want to be so much for others that we sometimes forget who we are and what makes us happy. Why is this so important? According to Ruiz, “There are millions of ways to express your happiness, but there is only one way to be happy, and that is to love. There is no other way. You cannot be happy if you do not love yourself. You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either.”
I absolutely believe these words to be true. We must love oneself before we are able to give our love away to anyone else, whether that be a partner, a friend, a relative or our child. Of course we love these people deeply, but imagine how much more freely we would be able to show and give our love if we were truly in a state where we were happy with ourselves.
How can we be a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister, or a better mother? All by learning to love ourselves and be happy.
One more quote from Ruiz that I found extremely powerful:
<firstname.lastname@example.org>”You have the power to create. Your power is so strong that whatever you believe comes true. You create yourself, whatever you believe you are. You are the way you are because that is what you believe about yourself.”
If you are in a state right now where you are just skimming this blog, take a moment to go back and read through these quotes once more. They all include so much insight that is “between the lines.”
Now, where do you begin to find out just who you are? Where do you begin your search for happiness? How do you begin to love yourself?
Number one, I suggest reading these books. Again, they are inexpensive and easy reads.
Number two, journal. You can give yourself certain topics, or just write what comes to mind, but journaling will bring forth insight that you did not even know existed in your mind.
Number three, talk walks. Leave your phone at home. How often do you give yourself time to just think? No music, no talking, no social media. Just you, the outside world and your thoughts.
Number four, take a class. Sign up for a series of music classes, an art class, a writing class, yoga … whatever piques your interest. Do not take this class with a friend. This is for you.
If you have other suggestions for finding oneself and learning to love oneself, please comment below. Good luck to you, and remember not to be afraid of discovering who you are.