Hello, it’s me: How to practice self-love & acceptance

Growing up, I only know two adjectives that best describe myself: Talented and smart. I was never the “beautiful” or the “sexy” one – always the smart one, talented one, the good leader, and the charismatic (class) President.

While I do appreciate how people see me as a person, a part of me always wondered how it felt like to be called beautiful and sexy – even just for once, twice, or always?

When I turned 30 years old, people started telling me, “You’re beautiful” or “You’re sexy!” I’m like, are you serious? Are you blind? Which part of me is beautiful or sexy? What do you want? Was that a compliment or an insult?

Then it got me to thinking, what just happened there? Did people change? No. Perhaps it was me who changed, how I viewed myself changed and in time, I got used to people telling me I’m beautiful or sexy.

Well, it was hard at first – believe me! Until now, I’m still not 100 percent convinced, but how did I manage to believe it was somehow a compliment?

1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You see, not everyone appreciates Asian or Caucasian beauties, skinny or chubby, dark or white skinned, curly or straight hair. It depends on someone’s preference or definition of beauty. Some don’t even bother with looks. They focus on the personality. 

I personally like funny guys – the genuinely funny guys and not the trying hard funny ones. I really do. So when a guy can make me laugh, as in laugh ‘til my belly hurts, well, that’s plus points. It brings the attraction to a higher level.

2. Love your curls. When I was in high school, all girls who were tagged as “pretty” had long and shiny hairs. I was so envious that time because I have curly hair and how I wished I had straight hair too. 

So I tried all sorts of expensive hair treatments just to straighten my hair, only leaving my hair damaged in time. Soon, I learned to accept that I’m not like the rest. I’m unique because of my curls. I began going to salon for hot oils and colors to enhance my curls and I let it down once in a while.  And you know what? People would tell me how they loved my hair and how they wished they had curls, too. See what I mean?

3. Love your body. Most Filipinas are skinny, petite and have small body frames and for other people, that’s their definition of being “sexy”. So when you’re a bit heavy or on the curvy side, you’ll often hear remarks, comments, criticisms, or ridicules about your body weight or eating habits. Trust me! I am a victim of body/fat shaming. I struggle everyday to be skinny and to achieve people’s standard of being “sexy” to the point of fasting, skipping meals, and starving myself.

When I got busy at work, achieving the “perfect” body became more difficult as I have lesser time to exercise but more time to eat, which is not healthy anymore. I realized while some people are right about my heavy weight, it’s really time to love my body more by eating healthier foods and exercising not to have that perfect body but to be healthy.

4. See the good in every people. It’s hard to see the good in every people when you don’t feel good about yourself. But that’s the thing, as we find positive aspects in other people we get better at seeing positive aspects of ourselves.

What do you feel when people compliment you about the dress you’re wearing or the little thing you did? You felt good right? If you want to feel good, start by making other people feel good. I made it a habit to compliment people every chance I got because not only it makes them happy, it also made me really and genuinely happy.

5. It’s not you, it’s them. I’m sure you’ve heard this line before. They say you can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to see in you. If they always find something wrong in you, he’s got a problem, not you.

They say “people with low self-esteem are 80 percent more likely to criticize others or put them down in order to make themselves feel better, tougher, and smarter. The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.” Also, normal people don’t put others down. When people feel about themselves, they will try to point out something in you to make you feel bad.

6. Know your strengths and weaknesses. It took me two years of training in the military school to discover what I’m capable of doing and not – that I have fear of heights but I can also run, sprint, hike, swim, or jump off from a 10-ft diving board, which I honestly didn’t think I can do before.

I was not even into running when I was a civilian. But when I entered the military school, I had to pass my physical fitness tests (e.g. push-ups, sit-ups, 3.2-km run, flex hang ) or else, I’ll get kicked out of the academy. I dreaded all physical activities back then because they were always forced or required on us. Surprisingly after I was discharged from the academy, running has become part of my life. When I have time, I try to run three to four times a week. I began to appreciate its benefits on improving my overall health and well-being.

You see, it took me years to finally love and accept myself. It was a process. And it just doesn’t happen overnight. Even big-time models, actresses, actors, and celebrities have insecurities about themselves too but they excelled in their respective fields because they chose to highlight their assets rather than their liabilities.

While I still wanted to hear people complimenting me about being beautiful and sexy, it’s not as important as being good or better in what I do. In my case, I wanted people to appreciate my writing and other talents beyond my beauty.

Always remember, “Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.”


This is a monthly blog collaboration and our theme for September is Self-Love and Acceptance. For more stories, check out these amazing and truly inspiring writers who participated in this blog collaboration. Happy reading and hope we inspired you:

Joel Scott: Self-Love and Acceptance

Tajwar Fatma: Self-Love and Acceptance

Jane Love: Why You Should Love Yourself

Jothish Joseph: Self-love and Acceptance

Barb Caffrey: Why Is Self-Acceptance So Damn Hard?

Addison D’Marko: Self-Acceptance and Self Love

Sadaf Siddiqi: Self-Love and Acceptance

Nicolle K: Self-Love & Acceptance, Self-Esteem, & Writing Self-Compassionate Letters

Sonyo Estavillo: Self-Respect Means Knowing What Love Is & What Love Is Not

Manal Ahmad: Self-Love and Acceptance

Ipuna Black: Self-Love and Acceptance

Camilla Motte: How to Love Yourself

Divyang Shah: Self-Love and Acceptance

Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at My Pope Philippines. Prior to that, she contributed to the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  She's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as a Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

32 thoughts on “Hello, it’s me: How to practice self-love & acceptance

  1. Mylene,
    You are sexy and beautiful! I’m glad you know that now! 😍 I was always the “smart” one growing up, so I joined a beauty pageant to try and prove that I’m beautiful too! The dumb pageant didn’t matter. I needed to feel beautiful inside.
    I love your perspective on this important topic. You were in the military! Tough woman!
    I do think love and accepting yourself takes time, and you presented each step in a wonderful way. Your words are always uplifting. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Ipuna for the kind words. Wow! Beauty pageants – that I have to think twice/thrice before joining them. I’m too shy for that. Haha. How was your experience and when was this? You are definitely one woman with beauty and substance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did it when I was in high school. I got first runner up in a Miss Asian Universe pageant. Ha ha! That was enough to check it off my bucket list. Didn’t do it again. The experience was good but nerve wrecking! I used to be shyer, so the speaking part was harder for me. It was probably good to get out of my comfort zone. And thank you on the beauty and substance. The beauty fades the older I get, but I have to love and accept that, right? 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome post and you’re certainly sexy and beautiful, Mylene! ❤

    Also, I agree; when we don’t love ourselves enough, we often feel “the grass is greener on the other side. Funny you mentioned straightening your curls; over here, we Chinese usually have straight hair, so we go to the hair salon to get them curled! I did try curling my hair once just to see what it’s like, but I like my straight hair after all. 😆

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Nicolle for the compliment. I must say this is a compliment. Haha. Anyways, not only Chinese have straight hairs but flawless complexions as well. Lucky you! Still curling your hair? I straight my hair once in a while on some occasions just to sport a new look.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m lucky enough, I’d say. 😛
        I’ve curled my hair twice in what the hair salon guy called “Korean style”, which is basically layered hair in wavy curls starting from the ears down. It’s cute but not my style; I found I like straight hair more, so I haven’t curled it since then. 😆

        Liked by 2 people

  3. If someone who hates himself reads this post and literally sees how you’ve learned to accept and love yourself, he’ll definitely be transformed.
    Each human being has a unique feature and knowing that is an evidence of self love.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hey Mylene, terrific post on self-love. My favorite : “The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.” yes, totally. We should not fret about the next person. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You remind me of my daughter. She has beautiful curly hair, but she’s always trying to straighten it or add hair to it. Everyone loves her hair more than she does. Funny. We are so hard on ourselves. We are all sexy and beautiful. 🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awww, I’m sure your daughter is a beautiful as you inside and outside. Hope one day she embraces her curls. I don’t have to comb every day. I don’t even own a comb. Haha. Thanks for the kind words Camilla!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with Nikki and Ipuna that you’re definitely sexy and beautiful, Miley! ❤
    Also, I agree; when we don’t love ourselves enough, we often feel “the grass is greener on the other side.
    And I agree that the only person we should try to be better than is who we were yesterday.

    Basically, I agree with everything you said.
    Awesome post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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