Love Yourself, Don’t Be Yourself

Enough with the “Be Yourself” messages.

I’ve had enough of things like:

“Nobody is perfect.”

“Don’t let others change who you are.”

“Let people love the real you.”

“Looks don’t matter.”

“You’re a really nice person when I get to know you.”

First, let me be clear. I believe that we have to love ourselves, accept ourselves for who we are, and have a healthy self-esteem. It takes strength to accept our weaknesses and understand what are the flaws that make us who we are. Our idiosyncrasies are what ultimately define us and make us unique.

How beautiful, that we are wonderfully unique and gifted in our own way.

But this post is not speaking to those who advocate this self-love, who already have a healthy esteem and clear identity of who and what they are, who are able to completely accept themselves, flaws and all. Instead, this post speaks to those who, deep down, amidst all the messages of self-love that you’ve received, you are just not happy with being you.

And I’m here to tell you, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Those “Be Yourself” messages that the world loves so much, to me, is not an acceptance of self, but an acceptance of comfort, of mediocrity, of denial even. They discourage change, and make it seem as though if people don’t like you, it’s their fault and not yours. But I beg to differ. Sometimes, when we are not well liked, could it be that the issue lies with us? Perhaps our attitude doesn’t exactly sit well with others, perhaps we were the ones who misunderstood, perhaps it is our habits in life that are ruining us day by day and we don’t even try to resist it because hey, if people don’t love the real you, they don’t matter.

I don’t like thinking of self-love as an attitude that accepts mediocrity. Self-love is a vast display of transformational strength within ourselves. It is an attitude that drives us to change for the better every single day and become better versions of ourselves than yesterday. It is not sitting in the backyard staring at the sky wallowing in self-pity wondering why the world hates us and then deciding that we don’t care and we should accept this. We shouldn’t.

Self-love is a journey within ourselves that first starts with us knowing what we want in our lives. If we need to watch our diet and exercise to get the body we want, we should. If we want to make more friends by being more outspoken and emotionally aware, we should. If we feel better about ourselves when we put on make up and dye our hair, why not? If there’s a goal that we wish to achieve, a dream that we want to see come to pass, a change that will make us feel better about ourselves, then we chase and pursue it with great fervency, every moment telling ourselves: “This is for me.”

Love is a powerful choice that wills us to do things we would not normally do. When we love someone, we go completely all out for them, we change for them, we help them achieve their dreams. Love can bring about changes that we cannot even perceive in our minds. It drives us every single day, keeping us committed and faithful to those we love.

How true it is when we apply that concept of love to ourselves, allowing it to be the main driving force behind our motivation to constantly seek to become better in humility and graceful acceptance.

And in return, what you receive is not a superficial acceptance that keeps us the same old for years to comes, but a genuine happiness and addictive fulfillment in finding a reason to move forward every single day.

Love yourself, don’t be yourself.

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