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New You

Listen While Reading: UGH! // The 1975.

The turn of a new year is a time when most of us feel the pressure to make a change – or two or three. Some of us are more open to the idea of setting resolutions, or an overarching theme, for the new year.

Regardless of our personal thoughts on the matter, we are all bombarded with messages along the lines of: “It’s a brand new year, so say hello to a brand new you!” We hear that sort of thing a lot. The old you is blah, and you’ve got to change something about yourself before you get all moldy and useless.

Don’t get me wrong: setting goals, investing in yourself, and allowing yourself to grow and evolve is so important. And reevaluating how you’re currently living your life is the first step to creating positive change and living the life of your dreams.

But in popular culture, our worth is determined by our current hairstyle, job, or relationship status. This kind of messaging is unnecessary and can be harmful to those of us who are continually misled by these false ideals – and the idea that only external circumstances can make you happy and fulfilled.

While achieving goals often brings satisfaction and fulfillment, one crucial thing is often ignored: everything must start with unconditional love – for yourself. As wishy-washy as may sound, only when you do all things with love can you find fulfillment.

If you don’t love yourself as you are, how can you expect to find that love in the future? How can you attract what it is that you desire, and find happiness from it? You might achieve all your goals on paper, but if you’re unhappy with who you are at your core, you won’t find fulfillment.

This can be hard to believe, as we’ve so often been told the opposite. You can only be happy when you “get there,” wherever “there” is.

It might seem counterintuitive to love yourself while striving to create a “better you,” however you define that. But self-love and self-improvement aren’t mutually exclusive. Without accepting yourself, warts and all, your life will likely only look good on paper.

Let’s say you want to lose 5 pounds. If you look in the mirror with disdain, that won’t change when those pounds are gone. See yourself as whole and unbroken, just as you are. You don’t need to whip yourself into shape. You need to treat yourself with love, no matter your destination.

So regardless of what goals you’re setting, start practicing unconditional love for yourself this year. This might seem silly, especially at first, but when you stand in front of the mirror and start picking yourself apart, look into your own eyes and say, “I love myself unconditionally.”

We all need a fresh start from time to time, and a new year is a great time to start as any. Just remember to love yourself, right where you are.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. – Lucille Ball


Words by Tatiana Elghossain
 // Photography by Cassi Harvey.

© 2015 Reef Magazine




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