We suffer from an unfortunate misconception. We tend to think of self love and vanity as the same thing. They are, in reality, very different. Where vanity is blindness to one’s own faults and an overestimation of what we bring to the world, self love means recognizing the worst in ourselves and committing to be better. It also means recognizing the best in ourselves and knowing that we could always do a little more.
Vanity means that we gloss over our mistakes, self love means that we acknowledge them and forgive ourselves for them so that we can move on with our lives all the richer for our experience.
When you’re considering bariatric surgery, plastic surgery after weight loss, or any kind of lifestyle change to improve your appearance and health and forge a new path for yourself, you’re likely to encounter many voices of support. You’re surrounded by people who want the best for you, and whatever form that takes they’ll be on the front lines cheering for you.
Unfortunately, however, there will be many other voices in the mix, too.
There will be those who will not want you to get better. There will be some who like you just the way you were. They have a personal stake in your feeling insecure, vulnerable, ugly or “less” in any other way.
They will feel threatened by your attempts to improve your life and the way you see yourself. They will be worried by the empowerment that you will enjoy walking the long and winding path to self love. They’ll likely so or say things to put you down and then insist that they only have your best interests at heart.
As dangerous as it is to live in an echo chamber, it’s also vital that you screen out certain toxic voices such as…
The ex who crushes self love
When we have low self esteem we tend to attract people who sense our vulnerability and try to manipulate us to their own ends under the guise of trying to help us. If you have an ex like this s/he will likely have a strong opinion about any procedure or lifestyle changes you put into place. S/he may tell you that you were beautiful just the way you were and may even try to lure you back.
Read: What Love Is Not
Politely decline this invitation to relapse and get a free consultation with a family lawyer to sever ties with this toxic influence. You’ve wrenched yourself free of this person’s grasp and they belong in your rear view mirror.
Misinformed friends and family members
We all have a handful of friends we’ve known since childhood and even though we love them, we know to take everything they say with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, their lack of information never stopped them from having an opinion and they’ll be damned if they’re going to let it stop them now. They’ll deluge you with “facts” they read on the internet and enlighten you with tales of what may go wrong.
They may say that they have your best interests in mind (and maybe they genuinely do) but you won’t grow under their influence.
Anyone offering a quick and easy fix
If you’re looking to change your life permanently for the better there are no quick and easy fixes. And yet a huge market has arisen around the need for us to buy our way out of hard work and discipline.
Whatever route your path to self love takes whether it’s through psychological therapy, bariatric surgery, healthy eating and regular exercise or indeed all of the above, lasting victories are hard won. That’s what makes them so rewarding!
In good health,