Dear Tita Pacita: On Loving Yourself
Dear Tita Pacita,
How to love oneself???
Isa, 19, graphic artist
My answer is simple. Give yourself a hug!
And if that doesn't work then maybe try the following:
SPEND SOME QUALITY ME-TIME ON A REGULAR BASIS.
Me-times are fun and I am personally an advocate of it. Go to the salon, read a book, take a bus to the province and back for no reason at all. Treat yourself. Just enjoy the company of your lonesome and trust that you will enjoy it.
If you think me-times are just for introverts who are always about keeping to themselves, then spend your not-so-me-time with your few and chosen friends, the ones you genuinely like, are sure to keep you in good spirits, and would want only the best for you, too.
BE KIND, ALWAYS.
They say you attract the energy you give, so make sure you radiate with positivity! I know it’s always tempting to self-sabotage, self-hate, and all the other self- terms that this millennial generation has come up with, in order to deal with various crises. But keep being the better person. More than actually being kind to others, you are actually being the most kind to yourself.
This is old, and I’m sure you’ve probably heard of this one from Audrey Hepburn. But I quote her again as I believe there is really wisdom in these people who are beyond our years:
LASTLY, SWEAT—BUT DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.
By this I mean, sweat and exercise because that’s a way of loving and caring for your body. I had asthma as a child and was a weakling most of my grade school life. I'm a dengue survivor, too. And a few years back, I got amoebiasis. I couldn't intake anything, not even water. And that time when I couldn't eat (imagine forcing myself three lowly pieces of crackers for dinner) was when I realized how lucky we are who have good health.
Be thankful that you are able because it is in that way that you can work, help out, and contribute to the everyday. That's what I always try to think of when I'm given work I don't like or am asked a favor I don't feel like doing. I remind myself to be thankful that I can eat and defecate, I am normally functioning, I can work, I am able, and that it is me who's at the other end, able to offer my help. Because it is in doing for others (even yourself) that will make you feel valuable, significant. And when you think of it that way, won't you love yourself more?
So yes, do sweat on a regular basis to keep yourself healthy. But for everything else, don’t sweat it. Learn not to be offended. Be resilient, flexible, and open. Accept and move on. Don’t burden yourself with anything that won't even matter tomorrow, or a few years into the future. Make it automatic to eliminate the bad thoughts and make space for all things that’s good.
Photo by Miguel Alomajan.