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Imagine you logged in to your social media apps and you could not see how many likes, views, comments, shares, etc., the people you follow have, would you still feel the same way towards them? I say this because I feel that as young people many of us (including me) have lost our essence. We constantly seek validation from the apps on our phone menus, from people we truly believe are better and are doing better than us.
No matter how confident I may seem, as a young girl, I know that at the end of the day I post on my social media to impress others. I post to get likes, responses, views, and comments. I post to make sure those that don't like me know that I'm doing good. It is sad when I write it down like this because I can clearly see how empty and naïve these thoughts and actions are.
If I could describe myself in one word I would definitely say 'hypocrite.' Why? I constantly encourage my friends and the people on my social media to love themselves no matter what, as I often share these 'inspirational' quotes and captions "thinking" that I'm spreading love! I am a hypocrite! Would you listen to a smoker that tells you not to smoke whilst they light their cigarette?
Do I truly love and believe in myself, when I'm the first to stare at a picture a million times before I post it? Do I truly live for me if I allow people that I don't even know tell me how beautiful I am from likes on my pictures? It's almost like if we don't post something, it's because it never happened. Often my Snapchats and Insta stories look so 'lit,' but in real life, I know for a fact I didn't have as much fun as my videos seem to show. I know that as soon as the camera is off my actions change. I don't consider myself fake, or am I? I can tell you honestly that the best moments I have experienced, have never been posted, seen or shared. Because I actually lived those moments!
I love pictures, I love looking good, but do I love me? Or do I love the idea that my pictures create of me? Do I look good for me? See, I know my qualities, I know that I have so much to offer and so much love to give. I'm often referring to myself because I feel like this is between me and me. Do you know what I'm saying? At the end of the day, it's about self-love.
So tell me, what is self-love?
I'm a strong believer that for us to love others we must first love ourselves! But I'm not sure if I have grasped what self-love is just yet. However, I don't want anybody to feel less of themselves because of how they see me in real life, what they see on my social media or what they see in these influencers/celebrities accounts. Because the truth is NO ONE IS POSTING THEIR FAILURES. So don't ever think people are living better, look better or are better then you are over a picture or a video you see.
See, self-love doesn't come overnight, and it's much more complex than accepting our physical looks. Often I notice that when people speak about self-love, they only mention their appearance, and maybe I am one of those people. Yes, it is important to accept your appearance and feel comfortable in your skin. However, I feel like our minds should be our main priority—our mental health. Our thoughts control our lives, and you don't need to think about it because it all automatically happens every day. So the content you input will be the outcome in your decisions and actions before you even realise.
If you are struggling with this, be selfish and work on you! We can't help others without helping ourselves first. Don't get me wrong, by no means do I mean step over others and F their feelings. Have you noticed that when someone commits suicide, a lot people say "but he/she was always happy, helping others and I just never thought they were struggling." This is because we often give so much that at the end we are left empty and even worst, sometimes we take so much that we often are left overfilled.
I can't stress this enough, your mental health is extremely important to achieve self-love. See, I'm one of those people that can only open up about the surface of my problems, which is wrong because life issues go much deeper than what we often confess to ourselves, friends and family. I don't like feeling weak or showing weakness, therefore I often make jokes, pretend I don't care or resort to arrogance to solve my problems.
Despite my 'stupid' behaviour, I'm actually okay with how I am, because accepting my imperfections is the only way I can work on me. Before any disease is cured, there's always a diagnosis. So my advice is, accept those thoughts that are troubling you, acknowledge their existence! I personally feel like this is the only way you can really come to terms with yourself. Also, don't lie to yourself! For some reason I'm always lying to myself, which is stupid because I know the truth, but the more you convince yourself of certain things, they will eventually come to be your reality.
Don't ever feel like you need to go through things alone in order for you to be viewed as 'strong.' If you're struggling, seek help! I have never come across a problem I couldn't solve. But I've also never solved a problem alone. Also, when people come to you with their problems, please LISTEN, there's nothing worse than expressing yourself to someone that ends up making the conversation about them.
To finalise, always remember that you're UNIQUE, I know it's hard not to, but avoid comparing yourself to others, it's a lost cause. Because you will never be them AND THEY WILL NEVER BE YOU. Society divided us so much through gender, race, colour, politics, sexuality, appearance, ethnicity, religion, and so much nonsense to make us feel like we belong here and there, but in the end, you still feel alone.
You belong with yourself.