Happy Wednesday guys! Recently I’ve been focusing on adding more content regarding self-knowledge, reflection and ultimately self-love to this space. Though I have a difficult time constraining this space to a specific niche, I really am passionate about constantly pushing myself to learn more about myself and advocating for confidence and self-love. I hope those concepts are reflected here.
Even though I can be described as girly and introverted and liberal and an over the top Taylor Swift fan I would never want to suggest that my way of thinking is the best or only way of thinking. Though I am confident in who I am, I don’t want everyone to be just like me. The world needs Taylor Swift(s) and Katy Perry(s), Bill Clinton(s) and Bill Gates(es), introverts and extroverts, those who enjoy the scary movie trailers and those who do not. I believe in celebrating you which is why I am sharing a few of my favorite quotes about self-acceptance and why I think they are so powerful.
“Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you!”-Dr.Seuss
I’ve always loved this whimsical childlike quote. It highlights one of the simplest and (in my opinion) best reasons to celebrate who you are. Though the world is overflowing with humans there is not a single soul identical to yours. Combine your strengths, weaknesses, interests, quirks, pet peeves, eye color, sense of style, experiences, and all the other variables and you’ll quickly realize you’re irreplaceable. No one alive is more YOU than YOU, isn’t that reason enough to embrace who you are?
“If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everyone else, don’t ever change”. -Taylor Swift
Remember as a kid when you wanted to shop at Limited Too just because everyone else shopped at Limited Too? Or you wanted blue eyes and blonde hair just because your best friend had blue eyes and blonde hair? I’m not implying there is anything wrong with blue eyes and blonde hair (or even with Limited Too for that matter) but rather that being different (if it means being authentic) isn’t something to apologize for. I used to ricochet between desperately attempting to fit in (even if it meant “pretending”) and when that failed desperately attempting to prove I was “different”. It wasn’t anymore authentic to pretend I liked the taste of blood and didn’t like Hilary Duff when I was 12 than it was to try out for the drill team and spackle on glittery eyeshadow even though both made me uncomfortable. Most of us go through these “experimental” phases in which we try on different personalities for size to discover who we truly are. This sort of experimentation is okay as long as at some point you reach a happy medium. To me that happy medium means no longer “trying” to be anything too specific or aiming to comform to a stereotype, consequently this has meant eliminating people from my life that make me feel like I should be someone different. There will be portions of your personality that are “basic” (like my obsession with Taylor Swift and macarons and Starbucks) and the deeper elements that make you unique. Being true to you means accepting the elements that make you different and the elements that unite you with others.
“If someone tells you you’re not beautiful, turn around and walk away so they can have a great view of your fabulous ass”. -Miley Cyrus
I’ve always loved this quote by Miley Cyrus because it emphasizes confidence in the face of discouragement (not to mention it’s a little sassy). It’s easy to be confident when you’re receiving praise and accolades (and it’s okay to like positive attention and reinforcement) but it is more difficult to remain confident when you’re insulted. In life there will always be “mean girls” (and boys), mean people don’t stop being mean just because high school is over. Sometimes criticism doesn’t come from someone mean but merely someone who dislikes you (I dislike plenty of people but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good or worthy people). Learning to like who you are even when you aren’t well liked by everyone is truly empowering. I say celebrate the fact that you aren’t perfect, that you won’t be well loved by everyone you encounter and that you are flawed. Our flaws aren’t always pretty but they give us character, they add dimension, they make us real!
“I want women-and men-to feel empowered by a deeper and more psychotic part of themselves. The part that they’re always desperately trying to hide. I want that to become something that they cherish”. -Lady Gaga
At first glance this statement may come across as a little bit creepy but stay with me for a second. As sunny as my disposition may seem (and authentically is) I am all about embracing darkness. I don’t mean you should be mean or evil; I don’t mean you should just accept your inner demons. Embracing darkness means exploring all aspects of who you are. You aren’t any less worthy because you are sad sometimes. You aren’t any less worthy if you suffer from depression or anxiety or paranoia. For a long time I felt guilty for feeling sad because of the popular “every moment of sadness is a moment of happiness you’ll never get back” mentality, this guilt tore me apart. I believe in validating anger and sadness and pain because negative emotions are part of the human experience. You aren’t a one dimensional character who is expected to feel happy all the time, you’re human and you owe it to yourself to truly feel. I can truly say accepting myself as a person of value even though I am not always a bubbly ray of sunshine has been one of the most freeing realizations I’ve ever experienced.
If you want further proof that I’m not the only weirdo who believes sadness is necessary to appreciate beauty and love and joy, check out this short Ted-Ed video on The History of Melancholy (thanks for sending this to me Kaija)!
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart”. -Steve Jobs
Whether or not you like Steve Jobs or not I think this quote encapsulates a beautiful way of living (and thinking). At the end of the day other people’s perceptions of you, whether other people think you’re weird or uncool or whatever, doesn’t matter. These opinions fade away, all perceptions of you besides your own are ultimately insignificant because it’s all temporary. What matters most is your own perception of who you are, the lifelong relationship you have with yourself. Chances are people don’t think about you nearly as much as you think about what other people think of you and even if they do, who cares? Releasing yourself from the fear of external criticism allows you to pursue your own dreams and grow into who you are! Which leads to my final quote…
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”. -e.e. cummings
No matter who you are there will be moments, days or even years where it is easier not to be yourself. It will be easier to conform to peer pressure, to stay quiet and go along with popular opinion, to wear black when you really want to wear red (symbolically of course, I see no problem with wearing black). It is critical to remember that being you will require courage. Being you won’t always be easy. However, I honestly believe staying pure and true and authentic in a world that wants to meld you into something else is the most refreshing (and fulfilling) accomplishment.
Do you have any quotes to share regarding self-love and/or acceptance? Better yet, what is your advice on embracing who you are?
P.S. The photos featured were taken when I went to the beach this past Sunday. It was the perfect day to be at the beach and as always the perfect day to be who you are (;