Happiness From Self Acceptance & Self Love

When I was doing a Q&A on Instagram stories the other day, one question that a reader sent through was actually quite surprising to me, but one I felt very compelled to answer. It was a variation of ‘how can I be happy all the time, like you are?’ and even though I answered in a shorter version, I felt like this topic deserves a lot more discussion and openness so that I can help other people learn the things I’ve learned, as well as try to remain happy, and happiness genuinely does come from self love and self acceptance. Of course you can find temporary happiness within materialistic things and going on adventures, but unless you love yourself truly, there will always be negativity creeping in which can ruin the best of things.

I’m guilty of self loathing, I used to do it all the time, and in fact, I was really hard on myself during my teenage years and even up until a few years ago, I would always punish myself in some way or another. I have no idea why we do these things to ourselves at all. I mean it can be really easy for us to love others, so easy, but why don’t we always show ourselves the same kindness? Why not? We’re human too… Why are we so unhappy with ourselves? If you ask yourself a serious question and think about how you speak to yourself internally, if you spoke to someone else that way, would that be acceptable? Or is it bullying? I’ve started to believe that we need to speak about ourselves as if we were a friend or someone we loved, and it’s life changing.

A long time ago I learned that absolutely no happiness can come from such a negative space in your mind. Of course it can serve as inspiration if there’s a part of you you wish to change, but don’t beat yourself up if those things are difficult. Until you are accepting and loving of yourself, you won’t be fully happy. The reason for this is because of the clouded judgement. Anytime there’s an issue, rather than responding to that situation with a rational, thought through response, how we handle it often arises from that negative space in our mind. Relationships are a good example, often there’s insecurities there and those reside within yourself, and if you can’t love yourself, you don’t believe someone else can fully love you either, so it can cause a self destruct spiral, arguments, and constant reassurance, which can put huge strains and pressure on relationships as you’re always looking within them for security, when it needs to come from within yourself.

Until I really took a step back and looked at myself, learning to accept me for me, disability and all, I couldn’t move forward and truly see happiness in things as I was held back. I would always hear in my head ‘I can’t do that because I’m not brave enough, I’m not strong enough, I don’t deserve to…’ but learning to love myself for everything I am, really opened my eyes. After all, you are you and you are stuck with you for the rest of your life – there’s only one. You wouldn’t want to go through life stuck with someone else that you loathe and dislike, it would create such unhappiness, so why should you do it to yourself? Don’t treat yourself like someone you dislike, don’t put yourself down constantly, and don’t put those negative feelings onto others as it causes friction. You’re worth much more than that.

Some of the things I have found helpful in learning to accept yourself and like yourself are:

  • Making a list of things you are happy about with yourself mentally
  • List achievements you’re proud of
  • List body parts you like
  • Try to eat healthy and be pro-active as it really gives you a positive outlook
  • Be kinder to yourself daily and say positive things to yourself
  • Turn any negative thought around to seeing the positive side as well
  • Don’t compare your body to anyone else – we’re all unique like finger prints
  • Don’t create barriers between yourself and others, we’re all equal, there’s no right or wrong

There’s one thing in particular, to do with someone snapping at you, instead of immediately thinking they were rude to you and it’s a personal attack, see it from an outside point of view, perhaps it was irrational and they had had a bad day, so had an outburst and it actually wasn’t anything to do with you. Obviously this doesn’t make it right, but by you not taking it onboard and dismissing it, you’re not being self critical and thinking there’s a reason.

Instagram and social media in general can be a big problem for self hate, always seeing peoples photos and how amazing their lives must be, but remember that most photos are photoshopped (including mine to some extent), and everyone has their own daily battles and struggles. To try and combat this, you can follow inspirational accounts I like such as BodyPosiPandaGemma Atkinson and Emily Schuman (they’re such honest women), but also being a part of a community like The Odissean Experience can really help as it’s full of support and positivity. By learning to just be yourself, understanding you’re amazing (we all are as humans – isn’t the way our body works a miracle when you think about it?) and life is in fact actually precious. As I’ve got older, I’ve learned how precious it just actually is and I’ve learned that in order to be happy, I have to let go of that self doubt and disappointment in myself, and I have.

Of course this isn’t something you can do over night, it takes a long time, and I do still have bad moments. Living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome hasn’t been easy as there are numerous things I dislike about my body, but I accept them now, they’re part of me. I like who I am as a person because I know the things I value and stand by are good, I try to help as much as I can when it comes to people and animals, and I have a lot of love to give, but I do still suffer from anxiety, nerves and self doubt, mostly due to not having a lot of confidence, but I’m working on that and I’ve been able to do things I never thought I could, so it’s all in your mindset. It’s a journey, but the self love and self acceptance train is the best one you will board for your future happiness.

Remember this – you are amazing, you are strong, you have come a long way. Look back at your life and all the things you have been through, and you’re still here. Find the positives in anything you can and change the way you react to situations, and it will change your life. Happiness is an emotion and it can be brought to you by the simplest of changes. Believe in yourself, have compassion, and learn to love your body. Just don’t confuse this with self righteousness and arrogance, it’s not the same thing. Be kind, to everyone and yourself. Lorna xx.

Follow:
Share:

38 Comments

  1. October 18, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    Thank you for such a powerful and uplifting read beautiful babe! Words can’t even express how much I needed to read this post right now. Although I try and put a lot of positivity out into the world I am a naturally negative thinker which I find does impact a lot of my happiness. I feel like I can relate to you on so many levels after reading this heartfelt post. You made such a valid point about how our thoughts to ourselves can almost become like bullying. I tend to beat myself up on a lot of levels, especially when it comes to blogging. I never feel worthy of blog opportunities and perhaps that’s why I never reach out to companies despite my boyf telling me I should go for it. Likewise if a company ever gets in touch I immediately feel like I’m not good enough and don’t deserve it, I’m always waiting for the downfall of an opportunity. But your post has definitely inspired me and made me realise things need to change. I love the idea of not creating barriers between ourselves and others – it’s so true we’re all equal and cruel human nature can often have us not feeling worthy enough or like we live up to certain expectations. You made such a good point about turning negative thoughts around into a positive too, something I’m really trying to do. I’m so proud of you for conquering such a journey and moving forward in so many ways within yourself and your confidence. You are a true inspiration to us all! ♥︎

    Sophie | soinspo xo

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 11:05 pm

      Sophie, I am so glad! Reading comments like this is what inspires me to keep blogging and writing what I do. I’m truly so happy that it’s helped you and you have resonated with it. I was genuinely hoping to get this type of reaction from it, so that’s a job well done. It really is so easy to beat ourselves up, put ourselves down etc, and trust me, I feel the same way as you sometimes on the not feeling worthy enough for blogging opportunities and often thinking other people are more deserving, but then I remember to take a step back, look at what I have built and created, and realise everyone is as deserving as each other, so you definitely are! Having your own blog and running your own blog is a huge achievement, and from what I have seen on yours, you’re definitely worthy. Thank you so much for the kind words xx.

  2. October 18, 2018 / 7:27 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! I also think that it’s easier to see the bright side when one has really gone deep.

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      It definitely can be, glad you liked it!

  3. October 18, 2018 / 9:09 pm

    such a good read and so important! I really do agree that social media makes it worse. I have finally learned to see social media as a disconnect from real life. It is so easy to assume certain people have that “perfect” life.

    -PerlaGiselle | iamperlita.com

    Say hello and let’s follow each other <3
    instagram.com/iamperlita

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 11:07 pm

      I see it that way too, it’s an extension of carefully curated photography and more like a portfolio of things, it’s definitely not representative of true life, much like a magazine isn’t, so hopefully that gets across more!

  4. October 18, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    These are such good tips to share and you’re right, we can be so harsh on ourselves sometimes! 🙂 One of my friends is trying to lose weight and she’s jumped into the world on instagram, I’m trying to do what I can to remind her not to compare herself, that she is beautiful as is, and some people do have photoshopped photos. I just throw a filter on mine, ha! It’s good to remember the positives about yourself when times get tough!

    Hope that you are having a good week 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 11:08 pm

      If she’s genuinely doing it for herself and that’s what she wants, I’m all for it, but if she’s doing it because of pressure to look the same as everyone else, it wont make her happy as it’s a cycle that never, ever ends. We’re never satisfied as human beings. I hope she achieves what she’s looking for though 🙂 Glad you liked the post, Mica 🙂

  5. ali
    October 19, 2018 / 1:28 am

    I relate to this so much, Im trying to learn to love myself but very difficult. This has inspired me to continue and keep focusing on my positive points 🙂 thankyou xx

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 19, 2018 / 10:32 am

      I really do hope it helps 🙂

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 19, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      You’re welcome!

  6. October 19, 2018 / 8:02 pm

    Great post here Lorna! I couldn’t agree more with each pointer. It is okay to compare, but I always say, compare to be motivation not depression. I know it can be difficult with so much ‘so-called’ perfection on social media. I’ve been there especially with blogging. I had to remind myself why I started blogging in the first place to snap out of it. Happiness comes from within. We can have all the materialistic things, but they sure can’t be there forever.

    https://www.missymayification.co.uk

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 20, 2018 / 1:47 am

      So glad you liked the post and thank you for your thoughts on it too xx.

  7. October 19, 2018 / 8:09 pm

    You have great writing skills Lorna. This is such a heartwarming and inspirational article. I do agree with what you said. Sometimes we are really our worst enemy, we are often too self-critical- and perhaps it’s the worst kind of self sabotage. We really need to work on developing a healthy relationship with ourselves, it’s so important, especially in this day and age when so many people suffer from mental illnesses and problems. It’s a tough world to live in. I loved what you said about how we should speak to ourselves like we would speak to a friend. Such a great advice!

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 20, 2018 / 1:48 am

      So pleased you liked the post. Everything you said here is so true, I’m glad you resonate xx.

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 20, 2018 / 1:48 am

      You’re welcome!

  8. October 20, 2018 / 1:47 am

    Such a wonderful read you have here dear. So powerful and inspiring. Indeed, you’re stronger than you think you are. I wish you all the best Lorna.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 20, 2018 / 1:49 am

      Thank you!

  9. October 20, 2018 / 12:47 pm

    A very deep and helpful post…you really have writing skills, Lorna. I cannot help thinking of Dale Carnegie and his “Stop worrying and start living” or the famous sunscreen speech while reading your lines 🙂 . Something that I read some time ago goes like this: every one of us has a “father” and a “mother” side in him/her. The “Father” is the one “speaking” when we blame ourselves or when we are too hard on ourselves in general. The “Mother” is the forgiving one, so basically she stays behind each act or word of self-forgiveness. Anyway, I am quite critical about what books dealing with the human soul say, because we are too complex and unique to be described so generally: how can one truth be valid for millions of people? The bias here and there is inevitable.

    There is something though that I think makes sense to a great extent: Our fears and weakness come from our past, when we were too young to be able (or even to have the right for) to make our own choices so other people made the choices for us.

    That with the guiltiness and self-loath is surprising though, even if it refers to your past. Your posts depict you as a very positive, open-minded, and creative person…somehow something doesn’t add up here. If you really have gone through such hard times, then apparently you are one of the very few people who came out of that so positively charged (excuse the tech jargon 🙂 ). Steven.

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 20, 2018 / 7:10 pm

      I don’t think you can judge or say if someone has really gone through hard times based on their beliefs now, that’s almost like you’re saying that you don’t believe me, which seems kind of rude? Perhaps you didn’t mean it to come across that way, but I most certainly have had an extremely tough life since birth, given all my health issues, going through mental abuse and other things etc, but I don’t have to explain that to anyone really. Going through such tough things though really does make you a much stronger person, you see things differently and all you can do is try to be positive because you come out the other side, so perhaps I am one of those rare people. We’re only here for our lifespan so I don’t see any sense in going through it negatively and on self destruct. I’ve been through that, and I’m in my 30’s now so I’m past that. I am a very positive, extremely open minded person, and creative, but that doesn’t mean someone with those traits hasn’t been through a lot. I’m filled with anxiety and self doubt most of the time, especially the anxiety, which often stops me doing things and going places, but I try my hardest to push through it and work around it/with it. It’s all you can do otherwise once it overwhelms you and starts controlling you, it’s a slippery slope.

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 21, 2018 / 1:26 pm

      Glad you liked it!

  10. October 21, 2018 / 1:01 am

    What a great post! Trying to see things from an outside POV can be difficult, but it can help when dealing with negative people.

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 21, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      It definitely can, it’s always good to look in on a situation from a different perspective.

  11. October 21, 2018 / 9:25 am

    Such a profound and introspective post, you got me thinking a lot about why I sometimes don’t like myself. Actually the main reason is not my fault but is a part of me and is a health condition I have to live with and often conditions my decisions and actions and even if I accepted it, when a new negative aspect turns out is very self-destroying. But the thing that I like les about me is the fact that I don’t do or can’t do all the things I like and want to and just as you say, I need to work on acceptance. That phrase you said: “we are unique like finger prints” I live it and I will use it from now on.
    Great blog and great work dear.
    Wish you a happy Sunday!
    Regards,
    Flo

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 21, 2018 / 1:30 pm

      I fully understand you completely when it comes to having health issues that impact life and decisions, and make things difficult, but I don’t think we should dislike ourselves because of it. It’s out of our control and something we were born with or have developed in life, so working around it and with is is most important. Like you said, it isn’t your fault, so we have to make the best of it. Hope things get better for you!

  12. October 21, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    Lorna, I cannot (and don’t want to) judge anyone, nor it is about believing or disbelieving. The meaning of my comment was the opposite or at least it was meant to be but since it obviously sounded like an offense, I apologize. I don’t think I am particularly good at saying something, figures and numbers is where my strengths are…Personally, I don’t think I’m a strong person as I still avoid looking at my child’s belly (whenever I can), where the machine his life depends on, hangs.
    Wish you all the best, as I really think (based on what you share with us) you are an exceptional person.

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 21, 2018 / 1:33 pm

      No worries, it was probably a misunderstanding. I don’t think that means you’re not strong. Strength is endurance and carrying on, despite the situations, so the fact that you are still standing strong caring for your child is definitely strength. Perhaps you can look at the machine as a gift, a positive rather than a negative, because after all, like you said, his life depends on it so it’s a good thing that it’s there? I wish you all the best too!

  13. Sabrina
    October 22, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    I’m almost always negative, so I’m not disappointed

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 22, 2018 / 8:32 pm

      I find that slightly different though, as more of a realist approach because I do the same, I don’t get excited and I don’t get my hopes up for something specific, just in case.

  14. October 25, 2018 / 3:19 am

    I’ve been rather irritated with myself for the last several decades. If you’ve beaten this syndrome, you’re stronger than you might have thought.

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 27, 2018 / 12:35 am

      Yeah, it’s a cycle I think, sometimes it creeps up, other times it doesn’t. I think noticing it is half the battle though!

  15. Steven Whaley
    October 28, 2018 / 11:41 pm

    This is a nice uplifting read. I am really pleased for you that you have found this level of positivity towards yourself. I think we can all tend to be our own most brutal critics and such negativity can form a cycle that it’s hard to get out of.

    To be honest I find it quite difficult to like myself at times… I have always struggled with this since childhood when I wasn’t exactly very popular. Things like that get carried through life. I’ve been feeling a bit depressed the last few weeks and that never aids my self esteem either.

    I like your list… I think the only thing on it that I do regularly is eat healthily though. There is certainly lots of room for improvement from me in the other things! The not creating barriers one is particularly hard… well it’s not so much that I create barriers but more that my shyness acts as a natural barrier… but to be absolutely honest I have probably put up a few additional barriers since that one particular person hurt me so badly last year.

    Anyway, I am certainly going to keep your list in mind going forwards. 🙂

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 29, 2018 / 1:00 am

      I’m actually really glad you might try some of the things in my list, we all need more self love and self care. We have to look after ourselves and care enough about ourselves to fully care for someone else, without passing our insecurities and judgement onto other people. I always find that problems and arguments arise from insecurities which are usually from a place of negativity or unhappiness within ourselves, which projects out, so once you notice that, it’s important to stop the cycle 🙂

      I remember what you said to me in a private message about everything you have been through, so I am pleased this has been somewhat uplifting and inspiring for you today. As I was writing it I had a vision in my mind of everyone reading it and going away feeling uplifted and positive, so I’m pleased it’s done its job! Very pleased!

  16. October 31, 2018 / 10:57 am

    This is a really inspiring article! There is only one thing that one needs to know to be entirely, truly and sincerely happy. Yes, for real, you do not want to keep that fake happiness in your life. You can not please all people all the time, so make yourself happy today.

    • Lorna
      Author
      October 31, 2018 / 1:17 pm

      So glad you liked it!

Thanks for your comments =) I read & reply every one =)