The holiday got me thinking about self-love, a great and important subject in mental health, for all people. Self-love is our ability to think kind thoughts about ourselves, our ability to keep negative thoughts at bay, our ability to (allow ourselves) to enjoy life and so forth. I got to interview Sharon and talk about her thoughts on the subject.
I wondered if she thought that getting older contributed to having an easier time in loving oneself. Sharon didn’t think that had much to do with it. She says that getting older often does change your perspective, but not always. Things may get better as we age, not just if we hang in there, but if we do the work toward making things better. Self-love, like so many things, takes work. It’s not so much about age, it varies among people and there are some that will never get there.
I asked Sharon if there was a time when she felt like she didn’t love herself so much. Her answer:
“One piece of it is letting go of worrying. I went to a friend’s house for a Super Bowl party. It was a nice house, nice on the surface. I felt self-conscious about my house and how I was dressed. I don’t usually feel this way. I dress for comfort. I do what makes me happy.”
Sharon felt like she realized while in college that she “got it” in terms of feeling good. It was because the environment was safe and accepting. “I lost it later in the bigger world. I think it was partly workplaces, just the general large amount of judgment, I was the weird one and I needed to hide who I was and put on a persona.”
“I think self-love is doing what you need to do for yourself to accept yourself as you are, including perceived flaws and being willing to work on it, because I think it includes improvement.”
“It’s about what you think of you, not what others think.”