Loving yourself is an annoyingly difficult thing to do. Whether it’s a full blown affair or just the simple act of paying yourself a compliment, self love is pretty hard to come by. I wish it wasn’t, for all of us, I really do, but sadly there’s no magic wand that I can wave. So what do we do, in the absence of a little pill that we can take that will provide us with an abundance of love for ourselves?
How many times a day do you compliment another person either on their appearance, what they are wearing or on a skill that they have that you are envious of? Once a day? Five times a day? 10 times a day? I think I probably surpass even that. I am the ultimate compliment giver, they explode out of me. I think something would be very wrong if I didn’t tell a person how fabulous they looked the second I greeted them. And I don’t do it just for the hell of it either, I do it because I really do believe it: other. people. are. great.
And yet for some reason, “you look ah-mazing” is not a thought that springs to mind when I first see myself, whether that’s in the mirror in the morning, in a shop window as I walk down the street or in my forward facing camera as I prepare to update my Instagram Story. How great would it be if I could project at least some of the love and adoration that I had for others onto myself???
My sister has created an alter-ego. She calls her Candice. Candice is her ‘fat friend’. Katya says that when she wants to make some bad food decisions, it is Candice that is responsible, in her own words: “she is one fat bitch, that Candice, she can get away with that shit.” Candice makes eating pancakes easier and although Kat does sound a little crazy, I sort of love that she has Candice. That she has created a person that she can ‘blame’ if you like, for the decisions that she wasn’t ready to own.
And this got me thinking, if Kat can create an alter-ego who she can blame her sweet-tooth on, what’s to stop her, me, or any of us from creating one that we can protect all of our love onto? We already know that it’s easier to compliment somebody else, so what’s to stop us creating that somebody else as an extension of ourselves? You still with me? I’ll continue…
For argument’s sake let’s say I made an alter-ego for myself and called her Sandy, (think Grease both before and after the makeover). Sandy could, in theory, be anything that I wanted her to be. She could be funny and confident and pretty and kind, she could have a nice smile and gorgeous eyes, she could be an amazing blogger and writer and be so incredibly productive. She could be anything that I wanted her to be. Because if made her, she would be mine, she could be me.
I don’t want to have to spend my life waiting for the positive affirmations of those people around me. I don’t want to have to rely on a ‘like’ or a wolf-whistle to feel attractive. I don’t want to have to tentatively publish a piece into the world and wait for the round of applause. I want to be able to congratulate and celebrate myself. I want to be able to tell myself that I look good, that my nails are a great colour, that my outfit is amazing, that my gym classes are working wonders. But for some reason I can’t do any of that, or I won’t at any rate. And so I plod on, choosing instead to focus on my flaws, my cellulite, my swollen stomach, my singing toenails, my hopeless spelling, my bad skin, crap photos or annoying voice. I talk about THOSE things all the time, to anyone that will listen. And it is beyond depressing.
But let’s bring Sandy into this, let’s imagine that I was saying EVERYTHING to her. I’d have to stop this… Not least of all because I am far less likely to critique a person that wasn’t me for all of their tiny flaws. I can just picture poor Sandy’s face when I tell her that her hair was looking really dry and that her t-shirt made her look really fat. Stuff I’d say to myself in a heartbeat, but something I physically couldn’t say to another person. To some poor sod like Sandy.
I appreciate that I might sound a *bit* mad here, perhaps boarding on schizophrenic, but I can’t help but feel that I might be onto something.
It is SO much easier to be nice to other people than it is to be nice to ourselves. So really, with that in mind, what would be the harm in treating ourselves like somebody else from time to time, at least until we can start to master a little bit of self love.
We all have so many great qualities that other people identify in us all of the time. Why we are ashamed to identify them in ourselves I don’t know, but it’s got to stop. So let’s try it shall we? If you can’t face the idea of looking at yourself in the mirror and telling YOU that YOU look wonderful, why not they to channel your inner-Sandy and say it to her instead. I think you might be amazed by what you find….