“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise Hay
“To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.” — Alan Cohen
In the summer of 2018, a girlfriend and I decided to travel through Germany and Italy. I had recently been dating a string of terrible (read: immature) men and realized I would rather see the world than go on another date. Hence, the Italian dreaming! My friend Mel (one of my first friends from college!-we grew up so fast) traveled through Cinque Terra (pictured above), Pisa on a whim (pictured left) and Milan (pictured below). If you ever want to travel to Italy, I couldn’t recommend a pit stop in Pisa more!! We took tons of these pictures trying to get the right angle and the craziest part is how much I hated every one of these pictures that day, I made Mel take over 50 of them. But no matter what she did I would not like them because I hated my body. Now I look back and I am sad that this girl couldn’t love herself nor focus on the hilarious (yes, cliche but when in Pisa) pictures being taken with one of her best friends. This is my story here. While we loved traveling through Italy, eating delicious Italian food (Hint: coastal food is DEFINITELY more fishy than food in Rome or Florence), seeing beautiful sites and tasting wine, all during this time I was hyper-focused on my body. What it looked like in pictures. What it looked like in clothes. Looking back in retrospect, I should have focused on how this body of mine was able to walk up the hills carrying heavy backpacks, and how it was capable of miles of walking and hiking. It’s amazing what you can learn later in life once you begin accepting yourself. It’s still a constant struggle but this is one piece that I hope you find meaningful (that I am still learning), love yourself, love your body and don’t look at every wrinkle, double chin or body flaw you see (we all have our own integer critics). Look instead at this experience that you get, in this one life, and live in the moment! Take the picture and put the phone away, DON’T over analyze and nitpick, take the picture and move on to more exploring.
Love YOURSELF, Love your BODY, Love your MIND. And even if you aren’t there today, maybe you will be if you replace the negative words with positive words. Most of all be KIND, in a world that is not always kind to us.
It is never too late to turn over a new leaf, so whether you’re at home eating pizza, in college studying all night eating pretzels (this kept me away during my study hours-thank god that part of my life is over) or traveling the world snapping photos in new places, be your own friend and tell yourself that you are meant to be here. The more we all do this the more we can help our next generation. Because they deserve to have a positive voice in their head! I know that’s my goal for my beautiful niece and future children.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller