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5 Lessons Sansa Stark Can Teach Us All About Self-Love

"Game of Thrones" may have come to an end, but the lessons we can learn from the show are endless
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Sansa Stark has one of the greatest characters arcs in the entire "Game of Thrones" series: Not only did she survive all eight seasons but she ultimately became one of the most powerful players in all of Westeros: (spoiler alert) the Queen in the North.

Over the course of eight seasons (and who knows how many Westerosi years), Sansa grew from an annoying little girl to a wise queen before our eyes — and we could all stand to learn something from her wisdom, grace, and beauty. Here are the top 5 things Sansa Stark can teach you about self-love.

Image via Helen Sloan/HBO

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Find your happy place

As a child, Sansa longed to live in the sunny south away from the dreaded cold of the North. She perceived the glamorous lifestyle of court to be her happy place, idolizing Queen Cersei as the epitome of beauty and happiness (remember those intricate braid updos?). After Sansa's father was beheaded in King's Landing, she began to yearn for home, the North.

Sometimes we misconstrue frivolous desires for true happiness. The grass seems greener on the other side, and we must decipher what truly sparks joy in our lives. The joy that arises from Sansa at Winterfell is unparalleled to the joy she experiences elsewhere. When Sansa is home, it's a subtle joy, however, you can tell she is most at peace when she is in Winterfell with the Stark banners raised high.

Image via HBO PR

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Grow from past trauma

Sansa has been through a plethora of horrible things that no young woman should ever have to go through. She was made to watch as her father was beheaded, lost half of her immediate family in the span of a few years, and was married to a sociopath. Her life story has not been an easy one — but it didn't stop her from becoming one of the most powerful women in Westeros.

When faced with some of the most traumatic events one could imagine, she used them as fuel to power her ambitions. Sansa overcame every single hurdle that was thrown her way and rose valiant. In the final season, she said to the Hound, "Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would've stayed a little bird all my life." Ultimately, Sansa overcame her adversity and showed everyone that she was a strong woman not to be messed with.

Image via HBO

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Learn to say 'no'

Although, Jon Snow bent the knee to Daenerys, that was never a possibility for Sansa: Sansa made it clear to the Mother of Dragons that the North would remain a free state. Even in the way she told Daenerys, there was so much grace.

This is a prime example in learning that no means no. The capacity to firmly put your foot down is key to honoring yourself. It's not your responsibility to cater to other people's ego, feelings, and wishes. If someone else's demands do not sit right with your soul, honor your gut feeling. You know what's best for your well-being. If the answer you come up with is no, stick with it!

Image via Helen Sloan/HBO

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End all toxic relationships

While I don't condone killing your enemies by execution a la Seven Kingdoms tradition, I do believe that cutting ties with toxic people is one of the best ways to show love for yourself. Not only are you announcing to the world that you value yourself above all else but it's a great boost to your confidence and self-worth.

One of the most memorable moments in "Game of Thrones" was when Sansa executed Littlefinger, the man who had been manipulating her — grooming her — for years. This moment acted as a visual metaphor for getting rid of those toxic people who are plaguing your life. Littlefinger was manipulative, conniving and, well, just plain evil.

So, as Sansa learned, one of the first steps to truly loving oneself is to learn the difference between one's true friends and frenemies. A true friend, ally, or lover will not manipulate you, thus causing emotional distress. Cut those ties with the Littlefingers in your life. It may not be easy, but it will be rewarding. Find the people you can trust with your life — your Briennes, your Aryas: This is your new tribe.

Image via Helen Sloan/HBO

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