Hi friends! Welcome to my Self-Love Series, Chapter One of Five! Get ready to delve into your self-love journey and bring more love into your life.
What’s The True Meaning of Self-Love?
In order to practice self-love, we must first know what it is. Lets start with the questions: What does self-love look like? What’s the true meaning of self-love? I encourage taking a moment to really think about those questions. I feel like everyones definition of self-love is unique. So if my concept of it doesn’t fit into yours, that’s completely okay. It’s vital to be open-minded towards each others unique perspectives – It’s how we expand our knowledge and create positive discussion. 🙂
The Characteristics of Self-Love
Self-love starts Internally: Self-love is purely internal. It’s not, I love myself most when I have makeup on, or, I’ll love myself more once my butt is bigger, my nose is straighter, or my stomach is flatter. Self-love is, I truly and completely love myself as I am in this moment – bare faced or with makeup, sad or happy, bad hair day or great hair day, weak or strong, etc.
Self-love can be influenced by external factors, but is not based on them: Self-love can be influenced by factors such as working out, having a spa night at home, good hygiene, shopping, etc. But sometimes these things can be done in vain, because you’re trying to change something you don’t like, or cover it up. For example, I know someone who loves having her picture taken with makeup on, but once she has none on she hides her face behind her hands so the camera can’t capture her. Makeup is an external influence that makes her feel better about herself, but once it comes off that confidence and love for herself goes away. Another example is shopping to make yourself feel better – in the moment you feel good, and you feel good for a few days or weeks, but eventually the newness of the product wears off and you’re back to feeling low about yourself again. External factors are temporary self-love – it’s not the real long-lasting stuff. You have to look within for the real love.
Self-love is void of egotism and vain: It’s not bred in the physical world, based on your appearance, how much another loves you, materialism (the things you own, how much money you spend on yourself, how expensive the things are you buy). It is purely how you communicate to yourself through thoughts and feelings, your opinion of yourself, and how you treat yourself.
I’ll give you a personal example of myself. Throughout my teen years, I always wanted to change my nose. I have a bump on the top and I always thought it would look cuter if it was straight or curved. But as I’ve been on this self-love journey, I no longer want a different nose, or wish it was straight or curved. My nose is my nose, not anyone else’s. It’s beautiful and unique, and it’s part of who I am, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. The lesson: I didn’t need a nose change to finally love and feel better about myself. I didn’t need to spend money on makeup to contour my nose so I would love myself (No hate on makeup though). I needed an attitude adjustment towards how I felt about myself and treated myself. This shows you don’t need to spend money, or change a flaw about yourself to finally love yourself. You learn to love and accept your flaws from the inside, and once you do you no longer view them as flaws – they’re now just another beautiful feature of yourself. 🙂
Self-love is how you communicate with yourself: The thoughts you think about yourself, your opinion, what you say to yourself (criticism, commenting on your body, shamming, but also hugging, smiling, saying I love you, you’re courageous). Ask yourself, have you looked in the mirror, smiled, and told yourself you’re beautiful today? If not, try it out!
Self-love is void of comparison: You don’t feel the need to compare yourself to others because you accept yourself as you already are. When you love and accept yourself for all you are in this moment, you view yourself as whole and complete. And when you’re whole and complete, there’s no need to look at what others have to reassure yourself. You’re already assured.
Self-love is acceptance of yourself and your imperfections: The acceptance of who you are, as you are, right now. It’s authentic contentedness with yourself. The honest belief you don’t need to change anything about who you are or what you look like. Self-love is accepting your perfectly imperfect self, and sometimes we can feel down on our body image, or feel like comparing ourselves to others. But we still strive to love ourselves in every way possible.
Self-love is being okay with not being okay: Real self-love is recognizing when you aren’t feeling very loving towards yourself, or when you feel in a terrible mood, but you accept it and nurture yourself with compassion, rather than feel shameful. It’s accepting the fact that life is made of peaks and valleys, but through the valleys you continue to shower yourself in the love your mind, body and soul needs to feel revived again. It’s a continuous practise. It sways high and low – some days you have infinite love, other days you feel drained of it. Feeling sad and moody doesn’t mean you don’t have any love for yourself. It simply means you have enough to allow yourself to feel these things, to express them and work through them.
We’re All Capable of Self-Love
We’re all born with a self-love seed, and we have it our whole lives. It’s our job to take the time to notice its existence, water it, tend to it, nurture it, and strive to watch it grow and thrive.
Much like a flower, it’s not grown in a day – it takes months, even years. Internally is where your self-love was born, currently exists, and is grown. External factors do influence your self-love, such as working out to feel good, eating healthy, taking care of your hygiene. But it starts internally, as love is something that’s felt by the heart.
People with physical disabilities who aren’t as capable of caring for themselves can still love themselves, people with not a lot of money can love themselves, people with cheap worn out clothing can love themselves – just like how we can be and have all these things and still love other people. It doesn’t require us to be in a specific environment, be a specific person, and have specific things. It starts inside us, and we’re all capable of it, no matter our circumstances. Self-love’s not just an emotion, but an attitude and a mindset as well.
Comment down below your perspective on self-love and how this post resonated with you. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂
The Outline of The Self-Love Series
Chapter One: Self-Love: What Does It Look Like?
Where to now? Checkout some of my other posts: