Learn to love you

Leanna Sloan

We live in a world where people learn to judge themselves based on how they look or where they’re from; they accept others’ judgements based on those reasons, too. It sounds cliché, but we all know what it’s like out there.

Everyone has heard the saying, “you have to love yourself first in order to love someone else.” Whoever said that was more than right. People need to learn they are who they are for a reason, and they are the best “them” around.

You’re probably sitting there wondering who the heck I am to say all we have to do is accept ourselves, like it’s easy to accomplish. Breaking news: loving yourself is no simple task.

There are hundreds of books, websites, peoples and organizations dedicated to helping people accept and appreciate themselves.

I struggled to accept myself for a long time, and then realized I don’t want to be anyone else and I have a lot to offer the world. Of course, this was with the help of a random post-it note I found stuck to the sink in a public restroom over the summer. To my surprise, I have also found some of those same notes posted on campus, mostly in Johnson Hall. I’m glad people are starting to catch on.

After doing some research into these life-changing sticky notes, I found the website that started it all.

Operation Beautiful was started by a woman who left small notes of encouragement in her gym, grocery store and work for other women to see. This woman is just one of many that are promoting self-love and love in general.

There are even a few groups on campus that promote self-love, one being Gamma Alpha Lambda (GAL) sorority. I attended one of their small events earlier this week and they talked about how we have to look in the mirror and love who we see, so others can look at us and love us, too. It’s awesome that so many different people and groups are talking about the same thing: loving yourself.

I have always strongly disliked people that shove their beliefs and opinions down the throats of others. But I am shoving self-love and acceptance down your throat. I don’t know if I’m even beginning to push this far enough. Maybe I’m not explaining how necessary this truly is, especially now.

The world has changed over the past decade. America has changed. We have changed. More and more, people have learned to accept themselves, so why can’t the rest of the world?

I feel like the students, staff, administration and even those outside UMKC should take it upon themselves to spread the fact that everyone is fearfully and wonderfully made, and they should live to love each other.

Speaking of administration, I had an awful encounter this past week with one of my professors. Now that I look back on it, I’m more ticked off about it than I thought I was. We were handed worksheets and after I put my name on it like the good, studious person I am, I read the first question. It said, “describe some ways you would like to change yourself.”

I was confused at first. Why would I want to change myself? I like me. So I asked my professor what it meant, and she said “you’re not perfect, isn’t there one defect you want to change about yourself?” Um, no. Like I said before, I love who I am, defects and all.

It’s important for people to understand we don’t have to live up to the expectations of society because we are the ones who set our own expectations to reach. We are the only ones who can make ourselves better.

There isn’t a single person who can make us prettier, smarter, funnier or anything else. We are who we’re supposed to be. We are perfect the way we are. Accept it and deal with it, people.

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