We’ve gotten to a point in society where terms like “self-care” and “self-love” are generously tossed around, but there’s really no true guide in how to do so. This, already, makes it difficult to grasp but what makes it worse is that there’s still this connotation that loving yourself and putting yourself first is selfish.
So let’s back up a little and describe what self-love means (and I’ll do a different post on self-care) but I think learning how to love yourself is one of our truest purposes in life and I believe that it doesn’t usually come naturally to us so let’s hone in on that.
Self-love is founded on the idea that you have built this inner acceptance of yourself, your being, your body, your mind, and your spirit and that you prioritize your health, wants, and needs over others. To set the record straight: this does not, in any way, make you a selfish person. You have probably already spent most of your life caring for and about others, catering to their needs, and conforming to their wants and values. Give yourself permission to put yourself first, for once, and let go of the guilt and discomfort. Unfortunately, for most of us, it’s actually a lot easier to go to a place of hate and abandonment, which is why we often times find ourselves criticizing and comparing ourselves. Loving yourself takes time and practice, but if you make it a priority to do some of the things that I list below, it will become more of a second nature and you can finally start to feel more connected and in-tune with yourself.
- Speak Words of Kindness To Yourself:
When we’re struggling to love ourselves, it’s easy and feels natural to resort to negative statements that harm us even more. For example: “I’m not good enough,” or “I hate my thighs,” or “I’m not capable.” These are just a few of the ugly things that we sometimes tell ourselves- and it’s nothing short of awful. In order to make this stop, we must reverse the narrative and speak words of kindness to ourselves.
- I am beautiful
- I am enough
- I am strong
- I am capable
- I love the way I look
- I love how much progress I am making
- I am improving myself for the better
- I am not my past
From now on, make it a priority to exchange negative statements with positive affirmations. Even if you initially say something negative about yourself, make sure to sandwich that with something positive, like a compliment. This will help to form a habbit, and you will eventually learn to be more mindful of the words you speak to yourself because you will notice the change in your energy and overall being once you flip the switch from negative to positive.
Say this outloud to yourself: I am fierce, I am powerful, I am capable, I LOVE the way I look, and I am unapologetically me. You get one life y’all. That means one opportunity to be the best you can be and to love the skin you’re in. It’s time to OWN your mind, body, and spirit in its’ entirety. There’s simply not enough time on this earth to do anything else but that, so start empowering yourself and embracing your being, because y’all are awesome. And being you is something that NO ONE can take away.
One lesson I learned early on in life was to focus on myself, my goals, accomplishments, my beauty, my process, etc and to avoid comparing myself to others. From a far, it may seem like someone has it all together: the perfect life, the most amazing body, the coolest job, the sweetest husband, I can go on but here’s the reality: everyone has their own shit going on underneath the surface. There is absolutely no one on this earth that is perfect. If we continue with the “grass is greener on the otherside” mentality, we will run ourselves in circles. The grass is SO green on your side, you just need to allow yourself to see and appreciate that. Begin to ground down, and think about your journey thus far. Think about where you want to go next (without thinking about what others are doing,) and focus on THAT. Harness your energy and use it to get further in your path.
Feel and Let Go:
We are all emotional beings, and it’s OK to feel things. It’s when you start saying to yourself, “why do I feel this way, what’s wrong with me,” that it becomes a problem. In order to love yourself, you must not hold onto things that create negative energy within or that cause you to dwell too hard. Feel your feelings, then let them go. Do not let them hold you back. Release them out into the world. Manifest what you would like to happen. And breathe, knowing that everything will be OK and everything will work out.
When we lack love for ourselves, we crave comfort. Usually, this comes in the form of unhealthy food or alcohol- but what this really causes is discomfort from within. We must make ourselves and our health a priority, and that means cutting down on alcohol and eating whole, natural food that will serve as fuel, which will internally heal us at the same time. Note that numbing yourself from your pain via food or alcohol will only cause more damage. Harvest a love for yourself by treating your body the way you would want to be treated by someone else. Once you begin to do so, you will realize how precious you are and how amazing you feel.
I hope y’all take each piece of advice to heart, and that you continue to sparkle & shine, darling <3