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Loving Yourself Takes Time

Loving Yourself Takes Time

Imagine this: you go to put on your favorite pair of jeans and — oh, no! No, no, no, no! The worst of the worst has happened; they don’t fit like they used to! You go into full-on emergency mode: you lay down, wriggling into them with all your might, sucking in your stomach to make them fit. After an epic battle, you button them up and victory! They still fit! You would do a victory dance, but your range of motion has been severely restricted… well, they’re on and that’s all that matters! So, you finish getting ready and head out of the house. About fifteen minutes later, you’re feeling light-headed. Your jeans are squeezing your stomach, causing a lot of pain and cutting off your circulation. But you look good! At least until you pass out.

Learning to love yourself is quite like squeezing into a pair of too-tight jeans. It’s definitely uncomfortable and maybe even a little painful. It just doesn’t feel natural and you’re tempted to put on your comfy sweatpants, grab a box of cookies, and call it a day.

But here’s the thing: you may not fit into those jeans today, but if you work hard, you might in a week or two or three.

Of course, you could always take a shortcut. Maybe crash diet for a couple of days and look at you! Looking good in those jeans… until someone walks past you with a nice, cheesy, steaming slice of pizza and it all falls apart.

If you struggle with your self-esteem, you must accept that loving yourself is a process. Loving yourself is not something that will happen instantly and even when you think you’ve mastered it, something just may come up and test you. It is DIFFICULT.

But here’s the good part: if you take the not-so-easy path, the change is more likely to stick. Figuratively speaking, you could be victory dancing in your favorite jeans everyday.

And here’s another good part: real change feels so deeply satisfying. So many people overlook the fact that the journey is often enjoyable; you don’t have to be at the end of the race in order to enjoy running it. In fact, some of the most satisfying moments are when you realize the small, simple ways in which you are now different.

It sounds cliche (and it is), but it really is about the journey and not the destination. And if you can learn to like the steps it takes to get to where you want to be, you’re more likely to actually get there.


Image Credit: / Flickr

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Erika Oglesby

Erika Oglesby is a freelance writer and wandering nomad currently located in Grand Rapids, MI. She is dedicated to helping people better their lives through self-knowledge and alternative therapies -- especially women of color and women diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Visit her website at


+ add your own
1:59PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Thank you.

12:05PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Amazingly true, if we could just learn to enjoy the journey... Thanks for the article.

12:46PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

This is really solid advice - having experienced my own battle with my self-esteem for a long time now, there is no quick fix if you want to really learn to love yoursel

8:37PM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

Since, none of us are perfect, we humans tend to dwell on our mistakes. This is not to say, that we shouldn't stop and think how to learn from our past mistakes, forgive ourselves, and go from there.

I believe loving yourself, comes with age.

8:43AM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

This is the most difficult thing I've ever explored. Forgiving others is easily a part of my life not so much.

7:18PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

when i was a teen i hated myself completely, shortly after leaving high school i began the journey to find unconditional self-love. it took time, i had to face the things that shaped me into the person i am today, accept my short-comings and most of all accept myself for who and what i am. now that i have unconditional love and accpetance for myself i can begin the journey of being the person i want to be, taking care of myself and focusing on being the best person i can be.

12:02PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012


9:05AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012


8:42AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Hmmm... odd metaphor. It seem like if you loved yourself, you would just wear a different pair of pants.

2:32AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Thanks for sharing the article

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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