“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most significant relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. You have to say “I do” to you before you say it to someone else. I recently found myself in a position where everyday issues and frustrations began to take a toll on my self-esteem; I was being challenged by the temptations of life and my self-worth was gradually declining.

 

That can happen to all of us – it’s upsetting and frightening and it can be hard to see a way out. But I was fortunate enough to find a few ways to get my self-love back.

 

These are some of the ways we can love ourselves while others watch – let’s give them something to stare at!

 

1. Be committed to you. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and remember to focus on your needs and goals. I know that when I’m feeling uncomfortable, nervous, or uneasy, that can be a great opportunity for growth.

 

2. Don’t compare. We’re all different and we’re all amazing in our own unique ways. Comparing ourselves to other people is only going to undermine our own self-images. It’s not about being better or worse than someone else – it’s about being who you are and accepting and loving it.

 

3. Forget about humility. We can get so caught up in being humble that we lose sight of how awesome we really are. Focus on your achievements and abilities, difficulties you’ve overcome, people whose lives you’ve made better, and goals that you’re reaching. Be proud of yourself!

 

4. Make the changes you need. Part of building up your self-love is figuring out what kind of environment you need in order to thrive and then creating that environment. Find those things that are holding you back and adjust them, like:

 

- The passive-aggressive friend that always has “just some friendly advice” about how you live your life – Goodbye!

- Parents who think your PhD is great but always mention how you’ve gained too much or lost too much weight – No more of that!

- The HBR article that reminds you of how your generation sucks and how you’ll all die with thousands of dollars of student loan debt – Unsubscribe!

- That pair of jeans that doesn’t quite fit anymore and makes you miserable about your body – Charitable donation!

- The guy who can’t commit, keeps playing games, and only answers calls when it’s convenient to him – Swipe left!

 

As I was facing this struggle with my own self-love, I had the opportunity to chaperone a group of incredibly intelligent and beautiful women as they competed for the Miss D.C. title. One of the things that stood out to me the most was how focused we are on competition and winning.

 

We base our self-worth on how we measure up to other people – our waist size or how shiny our hair is or how much money we’ve made this year or how many advanced degrees we’ve earned. But like I said above, those comparisons are just distractions. Self-worth really happens when we stop comparing and start embracing who we are, regardless of what other people are doing. This is especially tough for women, with all the pressure society puts on us to compete based on our looks. So ask yourself: are you in the Game or are you running your own Game? I can look at a person across the room and see that they’re winning – self-love, self-worth, and dignity shine through even in sweatpants with dirty hair.

 

But it’s not easy to get out of that competition mode. For me, one of the most important changes was getting Baptized. I gave myself over to a power that I knew would change my life. I’m glad I made that choice at a later age so that I could truly understand my decision and what it would mean for my life. Getting Baptized has helped me to always remember that I am a diamond and that I’m keeping my most intimate self for “The One” God chooses for me. It has allowed me to be consumed by self-love.

 

So the best advice I can give is to urge you to find a place that keeps you grounded and focused on your own growth and well-being. It may be through God, it may be through a hobby or a passion, it may be through your family – the point is that it’s something that’s true to your heart.

 

Happy New Year!

 

Lauriel (Made in the house of Diamonds)

 

Check out some of my favorite items from DVF for the new year!

 

“You are always with yourself so you might as well enjoy the company- Diane Von Furnstenberg”

 

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