We all have parts of ourselves we don’t necessarily like. It may be easy to love your great sense of humor, compassion or friendliness, but there are other things about yourself that you probably find harder to love. You most likely aren’t proud of your temper or tendency to procrastinate. However, if you want to love yourself fully, you need to learn to love your rough edges, too.
Unconditional love doesn’t require you to be perfect, so you don’t have to completely change or lose all your flaws before you can love yourself. It can be a process. First, you need to acknowledge what your rough edges are. Just admit to the worst parts of yourself. It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to talk about your weaknesses, but it’s so very helpful if you’re going to learn to love yourself.
Once you know what your flaws are, you can explore with curiosity why they’re there. Is something just a part of your personality, or did something happen to make you that way? If you’re closed off and have a hard time trusting others, it may have come from broken trust in a past relationship. Have compassion for old wounds and hurts in order to start healing and moving forward.
If there is anything in your past that haunts you, you can work on understanding and forgiveness. Asking others involved for forgiveness for something you’ve done to them could be a good starting point. However, to break free from that shame, practice forgiving yourself from mistakes in your past. You also need to grieve and address the losses that come from others, or the world, hurting you in ways that were painful.
From there, keep practicing an acceptance of yourself as are right now. You’re not going to fix a flaw overnight, so in order to genuinely love yourself, you can accept who you truly are. Remember that one mistake or bad day doesn’t define you.
Some quick ideas: Practice loving yourself. Do things that make you happy. Get enough sleep. Surround yourself with people you love and who love you.