We hear all the time messages of self love and inspiration, which is great, but there are only so many uplifting quotes that can change your life. It’s true that you must love yourself before you can love others, and so on. However, the real challenge is learning to love your life.

If you love yourself too much, you’re seen as conceited, and if you don’t love yourself enough, you’re miserable. Being stuck in the middle is OK, but you can’t be anything at all until you’re in control of your surroundings. You can’t just do whatever you want while the world around you is burning to flames.

If you think about it, living in a stressful environment or one you’re not happy with takes a huge toll on your personal well-being. You find yourself stressed, angry, tired, and unsatisfied. A toxic environment isn’t just fighting and chaos, it can be things as little as clutter, noise, and lack of personal space.

You can create your own zenful life without uprooting or isolating. Your life is what you make it, but you have to view yourself as a whole being. When working on bettering yourself, you must consider who and what you surround yourself with. Some say that you are a product of your surroundings, so if you are trying to work on improving yourself, you have to accept what’s around you.

Katie Heckman is a freshman at KCKCC.