Hi and welcome to another article of the 'How to live a happy life' Series.

In today's article we are going to discuss the other side of self love, which is self reflection. I have seen and read several articles on how to love yourself and very good tips but that I noticed one, in my opinion, important thing was missing. SELF REFLECTION.

Self love is more than ''just'' taking a nice bath or putting on pretty clothes. It is more than just telling yourself how beautiful you are.

Self love is knowing yourself!

The reason why you are unhappy the way you are is mostly because people were able to form you into something you are not and will never be. They told you how to talk, think and to dress. They know exactly what they want and the reason why they are able to force it on you is because YOU do not know who you really are.

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Parents decide for you until you are able to really decide if you want to do this or that. My parent made me do things that they thought was important but never did they force me to keep on doing something I did not want to. They let me listening to the music I wanted, they let me wear the the clothes I wanted to wear and even the more. Why? Because they wanted me to make my own expierence and to discover myself.

Of course sometimes my mom made me or rather tried to make me wear more of girly clothes and go out more instead of spending the whole summer at home reading books and watching animes. She still does sometimes and that is okay. That is what parents do and that is what I will probably also do when I have my own children.

We need guidance until we are able to walk alone. And by saying you need to know yourself I mean to know your character, you do not need to know exactly what you want be when you are older and you do not need to know everything about you but at least know the basics so nobody will be able to decide for you.

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Are you an outgoing person? Do you like being alone? Do you prefer keeping your circle small?

If you do not like smalltalk do not let other people tell you that is not okay and if you do not speak that much do not let anyone tell you that you will not be able to find friends. You will find just the right ones for you, even if it is just one person, it will be okay. The older you get, the smaller the circle.

Do not let people tell you to be more like him or her, because you will never be them and that is OKAY! You are you and that is awesome. There is a reason why you are not like your siblings or your schoolmates.

Learn to embrace everything but also learn how to detect bad habits and to be accountable for them and especially to correct them.

Self reflection is a humbling process. It is essential to find out why you think, say and do certain things... and then better yourself.

The reason why most of us do not grow is because we are not able to self recleft.

We are afraid of discovering all our flaws and more afraid of tackling them. Because changing is hard work but this is the other side of loving yourself. You need to humble yourself and ask yourself if how you are handling life right now is really the right way. And if you love yourself you want to be the best you possible. So here are a few tips on how to do this:

1. BE STILL

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Try to be still for a moment and listen to yourself. Think about who you really are. How you used to be before you went through all the things. Is this how you want to be? Think about what you like and do not like and what you stand for. Think about why you react or do things the way you do? Was it really necessary to raise your voice? Why is a simple word hurting you so much? Why do you keep clinging on people who are clearly not good for you? The moment you find the answers write them down.

What do you want to change and what to you have to change?

2. HUMBLE YOURSELF

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Stop blaming others! I am not saying that you are the bad one and they are the victims and I am not saying your pain was or is not real. It is. But sometimes we get blinded by our anger or sadness. We are not able to see that it was not them who caused this situation but it was our fault.

Maybe it is not him trying to hide something but you forcing him to do something he don't want to. He is not cheating just because he does not want to share his phone code with you yet. Maybe your insecurity is telling you so because the last one cheated on you. So it is your responsebility to get over the past hurt and overcome your insecurities.

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Why did you raise your voice just because she did not agree with you? Is it because you never learned that is okay to have different opinions?

Maybe she is not childish and/ or overreacting. You just aren't able to apologize and now you want to blame her for getting mad at a situation that was clearly your fault, just because you never learned how to swollow your pride and apologize when you are wrong.

Maybe the reason why you are not able to make friends is because you are trying to be somebody you are not because you feel the real you is not funny or cool enough. Or maybe you've been hurt so much that you build a wall around your heart and now your struggling to let people see the real you because you could get hurt again. And the moment somebody is trying to tear these walls down you push them away and still you are here sitting on the ground and crying in the dark, asking yourself why everybody is leaving you. What if they aren't leaving you but you are leaving them and hoping that the keep running after you?

Humble yourself and admit your flaws and then work on them. Tell the people you love that you are trying to change and they will patiently wait and support you.

3. FOCUS ON YOURSELF AND STOP JUDGING

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''Why is somebody with this kind of attitude so popular? Can't they see what I am seeing? She is mean, disrespectful and she gossips a lot. So why isn't she reaping what she's sowing?''

Let's admit it, we all had one or the other thought similar to this one above. I am still fighting these kind of thoughts and it is hard espicially if you are struggling and suffering even though you are trying to be the most kind and understanding version of yourself while the other one is cheating and stealing their way up to the top with one realizing but you.

It is not fair, isn't it? But let me tell you one thing, just because life is unfair does not mean you should be unfair too. I know it is hard but try to focus on yourself. Keep changing yourself and keep growing. Focus on your flaws and not on of others. Keep being kind and humble even to the one who isn't. I promise you your season of will come too. Blessing over blessing will rain upon you. You will find the right community. You will get your promotion. You will live the life you deserve.

But if you keep focusing on others and waiting for their downfall, you will miss your season of blessing. The only one who will suffer is you, so start today!

And that's it for today! Thanks for reading!

Buckle Up and have a nice day. And don't forget you are loved.
- Ruthy
-Devotional Series