self-love noun – regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.
This is a topic I was playing around with for a couple of days. Self-Love. What does it mean to me? How do I understand it and apply it?
I read a couple of articles and the following grabbed my attention where I had to stop and actually think about it. “ Imagine how you treat yourself on a daily basis as if you were another person, in a relationship with you. Are you good to yourself? ” Did that just stop you in your tracks? Make you sit back and think?
We are so familiar with criticizing ourselves that the idea of giving ourselves a compliment becomes alien. I know, I have done it a million times. When I was at my skinniest I found things about myself I did not like. My butt looked too big in those pants. My hair isn’t long enough, thick and lustrous. My tummy isn’t flat and actually has rolls when I sit down! I disliked it every time I was emotional or angry and that made things even worse. I would hate myself if I had an off day at home with my daughter. I would berate myself and set myself the most ridiculous goals which I would inevitably fail at. And oh my, then the world for me would basically stopped spinning. And I have always placed more worth on other people in my life. I put myself in second place to family, friends, significant others, colleagues…basically everyone. No More! This doesn’t mean I won’t have their backs if they need me, but I come first now. I need to look after ME. Selfish? I don’t think so. Not anymore anyway.
Truth is, nobody is perfect. I know, I know, so cliché but very much the truth. All those moms you see that has it all together all the time? All those couples that look like they never have an argument? All those single ladies looking so strong all by themselves? I bet you that ALL of them have made some serious mistakes in judgment, have been absolute bastards to someone, has the same if not more things they criticize about themselves…and the list goes on.
So when does self-love kick in? I cannot answer that. For myself it was a gradual process that took a couple of years and many falling down and getting back up episodes. The meme on this post is made up of pics I took myself here at home. Just playing around. But they came out quite nicely I think. See? Something that made me feel good. Nothing wrong with complimenting yourself! People reading my posts and liking them or sharing, makes me smile and it feels like I won the lotto. I was in a shop once and a guy that I don’t know from a bar of soap actually approached me and said ” you have a beautiful smile “. Can you imagine how that lifted my spirits? I have been told this many times before but for some reason chose not to believe it. Ridiculous right? These are just random examples, I have so many more and I am sure that if you sit and think about it, so do you!
I freely admit I still have some serious off days. Not everything is rosy all the time. Days where I can hardly look myself in the mirror. But those days are few and far between. I have accepted that I will never look like the girls/women in the glossies. I have accepted that I have flaws and it is a continual work in progress to be better today than I was yesterday. I accept myself for who I am. I love me.
I try and be kind to myself when I do have a dip. And I try to celebrate any and all victories when I have climbed out of the ditch and made it to the top, regardless of whether it was a mountain or a molehill. Do something every day to celebrate you. Heck, do multiple things every-single-day. Have your off days but don’t stay there. If you have to, write down what you like/love about yourself and keep it for those off days so you can read it as a reminder of how awesome you really are.
You are your own best friend and your own worst enemy.
Love yourself. Don’t delay. Make that choice and do it now!