Column by Fatimah Shalash. E-mail
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” –Buddha
I’ve always loved this quote even though time after time, I have not lived by these words. It’s easy to forgive others, give them room to make mistakes, realize that they’re human and be there to support them through the good and bad.
For some reason, it’s not as easy to do that for yourself. We are our worst critics. I am my own worst critic, and I see that play out in a lot of people I know. “Messing up” can be quickly attributed to a personal weakness rather than just an oversight.
That is not fair to me or anyone else. Stuff happens. Things won’t always go as planned. Sometimes you will forget things, lose things or God forbid, make a mistake. Really, it’s okay. We really are human.
Forgive yourself as you would forgive others.
In fact, if a friend talked to us the way we talked to ourselves sometimes, we would have left them a long time ago.
Though it may seem like it, it’s not conceited to love yourself. You might not have to shout it out on the rooftops, but it can be done in humble ways. Eat right, smile, laugh, give yourself a compliment. Enjoy the moments you do have to yourself. Stand up for yourself. Think kind thoughts.
Above all, respect who you are. When you do this, others have no choice but to respect and love you for who you are, too.
It’s so easy to get bogged down in a world where you have to run from one thing to the next and you are always just a little bit tired. It can be overwhelming. Next thing you know, self-care starts to fall to the bottom of the list.
So hey, give yourself a break. My break for this week? Ditching homework for the night and taking a walk with a best friend. Watching an hour of the Food Network. Or two. Writing about quotes instead of writing my research paper. These little things keep me going for the week and enable me to have more energy to give back to others.
The most confident and engaging people I know have an incredible self-awareness. You can tell they are comfortable with who they are, the good and the bad.
Love yourself. You deserve it.