Love Thyself

Thao Nguyen - New Orleans, Louisiana
Entered on March 11, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in self-love.

I used to think that loving oneself is easy but it is among the hardest things to do. During last summer, I moved far away from my friends and family and started a new job. The stress and pressure in adjusting to my new life were so great that I forgot what it meant to love myself. I went through the process of eating and breathing without actually living. There were nights of staying up late browsing the internet for nothing in particular, waking up tired, hating my work, returning home depressed, eating food to fullness without enjoyment, making excuses not to go out, and convincing myself that I was totally happy with my life.

I stopped loving myself somewhere along the way without realizing it.

For winter break, I decided to go home and visit my family and friends. Being surrounded by people who love me and who I love put my life back into perspective. I was reminded of my dreams, my goals, and the importance of loving myself. I returned to my life with a better sense of self and what I wanted changed. I sleep earlier. I exercise in the morning before work. I go to work with a more open attitude. I pay attention to and enjoy what I eat. I look forward to going out and meeting people.

I learn to love myself again.

My life might change in the future but I will try hard to hold on to my belief, the belief that helped me change the unsatisfying life I was leading: self-love. Self-love, to me, does not mean indolence or selfishness; neither does it mean excessive self-indulgence nor self-denial. Self-love, to me, means learning to listen to myself, taking the time for myself, looking after myself both mentally and physically, and challenging myself each day to be a better person than the day before. I believe that if people would love themselves more, then the world would be a better place. An often quoted saying is “Know Thyself” but I think of even more importance is “Love Thyself.”