"Moments of Mental Health III" by Becca DeMent
Moments of Mental Health is a series created to offer small digestible excerpts about mental health and offer friendly ways of healing and thinking about the self. Short pieces of work offer a brief and easily understandable point that can be meditated on for a day and offer a piece to the thousand-piece puzzle of self-reflection.
Be the center of your universe:
Self-love quite obviously begins with the love of the self, but what does that mean? To love the self is to first off, recognize the self. You need to be able to conceptualize yourself as a person because this makes it easier to realize that like any person, you are equally deserving of love and respect. We think of other people, even think right now of your best friend. Gosh, they’re great. Of course, they deserve love and respect, they’re so awesome! Now imagine that person is you. You see all your wonderful qualities and the individual autonomy that makes you a person.
Every person has different preferences, needs, ideas, strengths, and weaknesses. They are all self-evident and true. No amount of logic, context, or social pressure makes mint ice cream NOT your favorite, am I right? The same goes for any other preference or need you may have. You deserve to eat the ice cream of your choice, the same way you deserve to have the needs of you honored. Standing up for all these multifaceted aspects that make you is how you make yourself the center of your universe and practice self-love.
When I say “center of your universe”, this is not in a selfish way. This is not “your needs are above all others”, rather than your priority should be honoring your most genuine self. There’s no point in placing yourself second in almost all situations. Growing up we often place things like popularity, validation, social approval, or some made-up perception of ourselves, at the center of our universe. Friction comes when we grow out of this in some ways when we start to realize it makes us unhappy to place those things first. This also isn’t doing anything you want. Honoring yourself means honoring your most authentic self. There’s no point in being in denial or putting on any charades or personas when being the center of your universe because those are not to love the self. Being the center of your universe means honoring what you truly need to feel emotionally comfortable, what you’re insecure about, what you’re working on. It may not always look shiny and beautiful but it is an authenticity that leads to self-love and acceptance.
Be the center of your universe. In any situation, honor the truth of who you are. Shape the world around you to accommodate your true needs, feelings, and convictions. This is what will ultimately allow you to cultivate a life that truly makes you happy. As what’s considered a “highly sensitive” person, I’ve learned that sensory stimulation can often make me overwhelmed and uncomfortable. I use soundproof headphones as a way of limiting my stimulation. This is a way I make my universe revolve around my true needs. I no longer associate with people who did not reciprocate love and effort into our relationship. This is away
I make my universe revolve around my true goals. There are opportunities every day, to be honest with yourself and realize that this life is best lived when you prioritize your growth and wellness. This is the key to making the world around you seem so much more positive, happier, and friendlier because as the center of the universe, you made it so.