So many years of education yet nobody taught us how to love ourselves and why it is so important…
India’s young Priyanka Chopra, now internationally acclaimed actress once endorsed skin lightening creams when she was younger. Like most teenagers, she had once had self-esteem issues and thought to improve her “dusky” skin with the aid of skin creams. Realising that misconception she fostered, she has since spoken out against self-image sabotage.
Hydroquinone which is skin-lightening creams main ingredient is linked to cancer and has side effects that may include burns and skin thinning. Priyanka Chopra has learned to accept and love her skin.
The subject of skin colour is considered taboo among the darker communities. When it comes to the concept of beauty, especially in India, light unblemished skin is preferable to darker skins. The fairer skinned are portrayed positively and favourably whilst the darker skin is portrayed negatively.
The issue of inferiority is often swept under the carpet like most other things that are not acknowledged or doctored. My parents were too busy making a living and being the middle child, I alternated between feeling displaced and neglected. Rare, sporadic bursts of attention made me want to be an achiever but there was an underlying sense of low self esteem and a competition for attention.
During my teenage years, I was considered plumper than most of my cousins. Fortunately, they were all kind. As I grew into myself, I was ridiculously happy that I was too plump to share my clothes with my cousins. Being plumper was also a means to not being bullied, I could largely standing my ground and stare down bullies. From the brothers, I got frequent verbal jabs over my feet, which were broader, thanks to my Dad’s genetic factors. I was saddened at not being able to wear flat summer sandals. I made up for it by absolutely “rocking” my high heels and stilettos, I was the only cousin who could flaunt them as I did. After self-affirming, self-validation and self-loving, I considered myself blessed, I HAD FEET! Even my toes are still pretty.
Words hurt. I remember once being talked down to in disparaging terms. It cut deeply. Before I knew it, the words were out of my 15 year old mouth. I said, “look at yourself, what makes you such a masterpiece?”. Not the ideal thing to say but said only once, it put paid to hurtful comments.
Stereotypes hurt. Who wants to be a carbon copy of someone else? Not me. The only thing mean and ugly in the world are thoughts and actions from jealous empty souls, their words and actions rob, invade and even steal our peace and joy. Here are ways to cancel out the mean spirited behaviour and help you validate yourself and promote self love.
When I want flowers, I grow my own. My husband waters the garden for me, so that is poetic in itself but I buy them too. Give yourself a bouquet, you deserve it… and its a beautiful feeling.
Like travel, self-love is a not a destination; it’s a journey to self appreciation. I have learned to say “no” without explaining myself. With various interests and my hours being too precious, it did take time to learn to make time for myself.
- Love yourself, give to yourself, if one does not practice this, then we will simply have nothing left to give. Moms especially, are so caught up in the work/home/kids/studying lifestyle, Moms are running on almost empty. If and that energy is depleted, the repercussions and expenses are debilitating.
- Waiting for your partner to come to your rescue?. Why wait for that when you are your best investment? Do not create a wishbone where you should have a backbone. Deposit as much goodness in your core and store in your reserves for the bleaker days.
- Remember the vitamins, iron and calcium, you will be glad for it later on.
- Rest, rest, Rest. Whether it is at your local spa or just in the garden hammock.
- Do not follow fashion trends slavishly. Wear what is comfortable and breathes easily. Red, black and yellow were not colours I liked then because of my darker skin. Since, I have embraced my darker skin, these are my trademark “go-to” colours for an instant pick-me-up, my armour and personal statement. Gold accessories and rings are richly enhanced on my brown skin, much to my husband’s amusement and budgetary consternation.
- Accept the goodness that is YOU.
- Live in the moment. Stop and breathe. Need to re-connect? Look to your grandchild, child and extended family. Know that those moments will never pass this way again.
- Be nice, say something good, everyday. Don’t have anything to say, say nothing.
- Be kind, reach out to another struggling soul.
- Wake up with positive intentions, decide to choose HAPPY. That energy will draw the like minded energy.
- No point in reliving past upsets, sadnesses and dark places, What is done is done. The future is here and NOW, Own it!
- A few hours to spare? Instead of spacing out in front of the television or playing mindless games on your phone, invest in your garden. Sow seed and reap the benefits of wholesome healthy eating, fresh from the garden minus the insecticides and costs.
- Do not lay bare your heart. Not everyone will feel as you do. Rather plan and word methodically to your goal and reach your destination.
- Everything not falling in place as quickly as you intended? Do not blame your parents, they did the best they could under very stringent circumstances.. Their sacrifices have paved the way forward for their children.
- Set boundaries because others will not.
- Even if the goalposts shift (and they do!), realise that the path ahead is not straight but fraught with turns, all guaranteed to teach lessons. It may simply mean that it is not yet your immediate turn for success.. Remember self belief, self goals. Stay true to your path whilst maintaining your integrity.
- Reveal your unique character. Joining the crowd is easy but it is in standing alone that your character and voice speaks volumes.
- Forgive yourself. Release the baggage and the people if you have to! Just move on, not everyone in your life is meant to stay. “Alexander Pope said that :to error is human, to forgive is divine”. Forgive yourself your mistakes. No self bashing is allowed. Everything is a learning curve.
Something to remember :
Money is important but it is not the most important thing. It is true when they say that some people are so rich but bankrupt inside. Having more money, does not mean a better lifestyle.
Another thing :
Remember to FLY. First Love Yourself.
Most importantly :
When the days seem daunting and dark, create your own sunshine!
For more inspiration, advice and help on self love, please follow Nikita Chopra’s blog, http://www.nitikachopra.com/. In her own words, she is “a woman on mission to inspire radical self love”.
For quick access, heed her advice on : https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12428/10-wonderful-ways-to-practice-self-love.html
Images with the exception of the “Featured Image” has been sourced from the web.