Love yourself (Not Just Your Image)

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Love yourself (Not Just Your Image)

By Nikia Bundage

“To know love, we have to tell the truth to ourselves and others. Creating a false self to mask fears and insecurities has become so common that many of us forget who we are and what we feel underneath the pretense." – Bell Hooks

Hey, Queen. Do me a favor. Ask yourself these three questions:

Do I love myself?

Do I love my image?

Which one do I love more?

I hope that you picked yourself as the option that you love more.

Today in society, self-image is heavily promoted. You’ll often hear marketing strategist and interviewers both suggesting that you “sell yourself” to those who will be consuming your talent or services. Some may even say that “you are your own brand.” Why, you ask? Well, apparently image is everything when you are seeking to advance. At least, that’s what people want you to believe. However, what about your happiness? Your sense of self-love? Shouldn’t that be a priority as well? Let’s explore.

First, let me say, when you’re authentically happy you tend to care less about what people think of you, let alone your image (For better or for worse… Lol). However, when your smiles begin to fade you, self-consciously, begin to wonder if anyone can tell if you do or do not have true happiness with yourself. At this point, the love of self-image kicks in to make you concerned about appearances. Usually, this means a person is so consumed with how they are portrayed to others, they up end up putting the love they have for themselves on the back burner to win the approval of others. This is mentally unhealthy.

If you’re not careful, your love of self-image could end up hurting you. Why? With the outlook of loving self-image, you’ll do anything to make sure that people see what you want them to see: success, thriving relationships, and material things rather than the real you. All of these may be “goals” but if you’re not loving who you are while you have them, are they really worth it? Most times, they are not. Ask yourself, is it really more important to seem happy than to actually be happy?

We’re going to be honest right now. At some point in our lives, most of us have cared about what someone else thought about us. That’s a part of life. The good thing is, during the growth process we learn to care less about what others think and start to focus on what really makes us happy. It doesn’t matter how successful someone appears to be to others. What matters in life is how happy you truly are with yourself. Even extremely wealthy individuals often mention that money cannot buy happiness nor peace of mind.

So, today, choose to love yourself more than you love your self-image. Love who you are and all of what makes you, YOU. Let go of what others think of you. Stop holding on to what you believe people want to see. We all have an image to maintain; but, it should never cost you your peace of mind or happiness. If you’re going out of your way to prove others wrong, you need to give yourself a little more love and attention. You may just find, that loving yourself a little more can bring you the image you’ve always wanted for yourself.