This is the first post of the #SelfLoveChallenge. Please check the event details and send us your entries declaring your love for self. Now, over to Sahil.
So, I had to take the challenge, like obviously! More than wanting to set up an example and help other self-lovers come up with their posts, I really wanted this experience.
“50 Things I Love About Myself! No big deal!!! I can do it!” Yes, I let myself indulge in the luxury of the thought. Although honestly, I really did think it would be easier for me to complete the list, considering all the healing workshops I have made myself to attend.
In my defense, all I can say is that I did end up completing the list. However, it wasn’t half as easy as I expected.
Below, you would find a lot of self-talk, which is only a consequence of years of self-loathing, self-criticism and self-doubts. I didn’t edit those parts out, because more than completing the list, it is about the journey – the entire experience that counts. And yes, I wanted to share the journey with all of you leaners, not just the success towards the end.
Join me, my fellow Leaners, as I recount the 50 Things I Love About Myself. I hope, I earnestly hope that you allow yourself to experience this magical and profound experience. I stand here, tall and proud, choosing to love myself, willing to love myself, ready to accept the love from self (yes, that’s the most difficult part) and everything else that has been made possible because of this one exercise, and of course the hell I endured, in order to get where I am today. Yes, it was worth it! Thank you.
Here goes the list:
- My Handwriting – “umm sometimes…” “No wait, I do!”
- My skin – “umm, acne on shoulders?!!” “Shut up! I do love my skin!”
- I am a good writer – “yeah, right!” “Shut up, would you?”
- I can talk to strangers and make them feel home – “yeah, you are usually aloof…” “SHUT UP!”
- I am good at planning – “well, and execution?” “Give it up already! I am like, trying to love you here. Shut up and help me!”
- I find happiness in small things.
- I can stay completely alone, and I wouldn’t seek some pseudo-company.
- My eyes – especially when I have just shaved.
- My beard! Yes, that is hot!
- I make others laugh – “but often, you are the butt of joke!” “Learning, self, I am learning.”
- I stand up for myself – “well, you are only beginning to…” – “beginning is progress, right? P.s. number 6, trying to find happiness in small things, proven here.”
- I share my knowledge with others – “oh please, you have INSECURE written all over you!” – “And yet, I share my knowledge, beat that?”
- I am perpetually conflicted. It’s like I have 2-3 different people living inside this body. Which is fun because at any given time, I get to experience the same thing from 3-4 different perspectives. Okay! Wait! Yeah, that just happened! From 2-3 to 3-4! But no issues; I love that about me as well.
- I can connect. Like, really connect with someone I want to.
- I have finally learned to accept and embrace Change. I can quickly shift myself to accommodate anything new.
- I can take care of my mom. In the sea full of people, I am the only one she can talk to. At times it is physically exhausting and emotionally drowning, but I love the endurance I have to do it anyway.
- I ask others “how are you?” and then wait for an answer. Top that?!
- I know what I want, with glaring clarity, and I am ready to pay the price for it. For instance, I write with a fountain pen, carry my notebook wherever I go to, and also I remember always to carry a plastic bag. Just to protect the precious words etched perseveringly on the notebook.
- I love the ability I have, that I always end up earning at least one good friend, no matter where I go. I have always, ALWAYS had at least a single good friend to lean on to, no matter where I was.
- I am finally in a space where I can forgive. It started with my forgiving the people who promised to never leave me and yet left, and then I forgave my Father, my Mother, my family. Finally, I could forgive myself as well.
- I am a good learner. Mostly, I am a quick learner too. I always take something good, worth learning, out for myself, regardless of what I have been through.
- I’d rather hurt myself than hurt others. That, albeit sometimes stupid, IMHO, is quite brave.
- I love the part of me that always want to love, pamper and protect the ones around me. There are so many people – genuinely damsels in distress – craving protection. And yes, I crave protection too, but I love that sometimes I am the one doing the rescuing.
- I am honest. To a point that it is actually intimidating sometimes. But I am dead honest – even to myself. I think it takes courage and a bit of recklessness to be honest. But at the heart of it, there is respect. You respect your time and you respect the time of others. Hence, you just offer honesty. Lay the picture down as it is without beating about the bush.
- I think it is incredible how I am always willing to give room to people in my life, to grow- or just change for that matter. I don’t hold them accountable for having to be the same way as they were a while back. And no matter what they grow out to be, I always find a way to come around that. Stay or leave, I manage to be at peace still.
- I am an avid reader. And quite veracious too. Yes, I can finish an average novel (say about 300 pages) in 4 hours. If, I am all by myself that is. Okay, maybe that isn’t quite veracious. But the point here is that I love myself for being an avid reader.
- I type fast. Rather quickly! Sometimes it’s funny how fast I can type.LOL!
- I am competitive. But I always strive to keep the competition healthy. I want to grow, and learn, and win the race. Yet, I do not want to dim someone else’s light so that I could shine brighter.
- There is a part of me that wants to reach out to people. I take up community projects for that. I am a part of the LGBTQ support group, Harmless Hugs and also volunteering with HeadStart: Startup Saturday ; (as of Feb, 2016.) I readily grab volunteer opportunities. I love it that I have a natural desire to make it a better world, not just for myself, but for others as well.
- Having said that, I also love the fact that I am getting around being detached while caring about someone. People take their own time to learn. Just because I was quick about it, doesn’t mean others would be too. And if they do not want to learn (at least as of now,) I let that be too. I can respect the choices someone is making for themselves, without needing to approve or disapprove. More than detachment, we can call it co-existence perhaps.
- And yes, that reminds me, I also love that I try to look for the perfect words. I have always been fascinated by words. I value the hidden powers the right words possess. And the easiest way for me to have a good day is by reading dictionary!
- I don’t shy away from feelings – whether it is flirting unabashedly (but respectfully) to telling someone how much in awe I am of them or telling my best friend how at times she hurts me; I can do all of that without flinching.
- My taste in music. I find it pretty awesome – hot as well!
- I think I have the right amount of body hair. I am hairy where it’s snuggly, and quite clear where I would want it to be clear; and that is, without ever using hair removal products.
- I can take the immense insurmountable levels of pain that I feel, and turn it into a melodious poem, an out-of-body dance ritual, perhaps also into a beautiful blog post!
- I don’t discriminate. I am not an ageist. I am not going to respect someone just because they are old. I am not going to love someone just because they look gorgeous. If I feel for you, I feel for you, if I don’t, I don’t. Nothing else matters.
- I love how I take care of my books. Even if I have to get drenched, I’d still keep my books safe.
- Books remind me, I am a good friend! I am the friend who would travel at 12 midnight just to give you Eat Pray Love, because the conversation that we were having, you opening up after your break-up, makes it perfect sense for me to make you read the novel. And yea, that’s just an example.
- My lips! They are juicy and pink, and now a darker tone of pink, which is much powerful… okay, nice lips! Yeah, that’s all.
- The way I kiss. I love it. I wish I could kiss me. Oh wait, I totally can. Wait a bit more, I’ll just kiss myself ;). Yeah, I know a kiss is different from a smooch.
- The way I hold someone. When I hug, I do it with my eyes closed, and my body loose, and I do it like I have nothing else to do. That I have nowhere else to be. That I exist right now, just to hug you. Here, in this moment, while I hug you, I let our infinities collide and unite.
- I drive safe! I take responsibility of the idiots behind the wheels on the road. I’d never get behind wheels if I were tipsy.
- Sometimes I pamper myself! I buy expensive Body Shop products; I indulge in delicious and rich chocolate sundaes; sometimes I just call a cab because I deserve the comforts that I can now afford. I love that about me. Especially when I come from an upbringing that sternly discourages such behavior. To an extent of condemning it as well. You see, we were all taught to think about others. Gladly, I grew up to be different. I am just as important as anyone else. [And if you are going to refer Point 22 to me, I suggest you first re-read Point 13].
- I love how I have unlearned a great deal of stuff, in order to become what I am right now. I have unlearned the way I used to think, because it was serving me no good. I wasn’t this cool since always. It happened gradually, over time. And at times, in order to learn something, I had to unlearn something that I was already carrying in my system. I could do it. I could let go the familiar territory of what I have known to be true, and embark upon the pursuit of what is actually true! And I love that about me. I think that was brave, heroic in fact.
- My collar bones. The neck area is sort of my strength when it comes to playing the game of seduction.
- I could still walk up to the doctor when my body temperature rose up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, without ever meaning for the situation to change; having my brother take me to the doctor or something else. People are busy in their lives and I can let them be. And I am strong enough to carry myself. I think I deserve a round of applause for that. Okay, maybe no, but yeah I love myself for that.
- My scars! I gaze at them fondly, and I know when the oblivion is knocking on the door, these scars would be my roadmap to me! I honor my scars!
- My humps! They are nice and smooth and big and hawt! There! I just said it! Huh!
- Quite strangely, I am proud that I am able to move the vestigial parts of my ear. I know it is sort of funny, but then, you see, I can even make a vestigial part of my own body work! At least move it for my own entertainment. How much more resourceful can one get?
- Yes, I owe what I am today to my parents mostly. But quite honestly, I did build myself up from the scratch. It’s like I passed school, and after that I have taken each and every decision for myself on my own. And yes, I failed, miserably failed at times – so miserably that I was afraid to even step out of my room – but I did! I got out, I got my shit together and accumulated enough strength to make more mistakes, and eventually I got through them as well. And I am pretty happy seeing how my life turned out to be. Yes, in a way I am proud too. :) “It’s a good life, Sahil Verma!” I say often to myself, and my best friend.
- I can sincerely let go, and hold on. And somehow, I love that I am intuitive enough to know when to let go and when to hold on.
- I accept the brutal reality of life – that we all have been rapists and rape victims. That we are all just victims of victims. That my pain and your pain are incomparable. Pain is absolute. And somehow, we are all connected in the pain that we feel. I don’t belittle my pain if I come across an HIV+ or a widow. Similarly, when someone shares their pain with me, I don’t go on at lengths describing how my pain is so much more exquisite, more severe. And the fact that it happens naturally now – that I am able to stay focused in the given context, is what I really love about myself.
- The very fact of writing the 53rd. I have always been the one to give more…more than what I receive often. And I love that. The fact that I can make good with receiving less, and yet finding it in my heart to give out more. Moreover, I put forth the same luxury to myself as well. So, when a part of me is criticizing me, judging me, I am compassionate. When another part of my soul is battered and bereft, I yield out warmth, love and compassion. I learned the skill to give out more than I receive, and now I am able to direct that to self as well. And that’s freaking awesome, isn’t it?
Okay stuck here! I’d now take a little break maybe.
Yay! Stuck again! God, this is more difficult than I thought!
Resuming flow now:
And finally! Yeah, this is the point where my self-love would choose to constipate again!
After I guess, what seemed like an hour…
C’mon self-love! No time for languishing now! Just 8 more left!
We thank Sahil for completing his list. Do send us your entries as well.