Why is self-love is so difficult?

A column focused on natural medicine.

  • Tuesday, July 2, 2019 8:30am
  • Life

By Dr. Allison Apfelbaum

Special to the Reporter

As we head into the warmer months, many people are trying to get “beach ready.” This is the time when dieting is popular, amping up the exercise and working on a tan for summer.

If you ask the average person if they truly love themselves, what do you think the answer will be? I think it would go something like, “Yes, of course, well except for this one thing, and also this other thing, and well, come to think of it, I am not really happy with myself in general.” It does not have to be so hard to look inside ourselves for confidence, and I will discuss how to start.

We live in a culture of social media and a world of visual images of beautiful people around us at any moment in time. This sets us up for comparison — not only with famous people but social media also gives us glimpses into other professionals who are good at what they do.

The problem is, while we spend time comparing ourselves to external sources we are somehow looking to either be more like them, or looking for approval from others.

Until we can look inside and depend on ourselves for confidence, we will forever feel inadequate. If you aren’t your own cheerleader then who will be?

Self-love comes from accepting yourself for you are in this very moment. This includes looking at your insecurities and faults and shining light on them.

Everyone is human and no one is perfect, everyone has insecurities and that makes us who we are. Loving yourself truly comes with facing what you may hate most about yourself. Maybe it is a body-part or multiple body-parts, or the way you treated someone, or guilt or shame about a situation. The thing is, until you can really shine a light on your insecurities, you will never be truly accepting of yourself.

The best way to boost your self-esteem is to choose healthy positive thoughts.

You get to pick if you start your day with positivity. Look in the mirror and thank your body for all the wonderful things it allows you to do. Start your day with “I get to do …” and finish the sentence. Write down a list of all your many accomplishments that you can be truly proud of and then say them aloud. Root for yourself, boost your own confidence, and set yourself up for success.

If you aren’t happy with the way you treat someone, or a habit you are doing, then I suggest making an effort to change that behavior.

This is your only life with this one body, and you get to decide how you love and treat it. I suggest you treat it with love.

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a Naturopathic primary care doctor at Tree of Health Integrative Medicine clinic in Woodinville. To learn more go to www.treeofhealthmedicine.com or call 425-408-0040 to schedule an appointment.

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