Self love is the hardest love. It means fully accepting who you are, in whatever capacity that may be. It means being okay with your imperfections, uniqueness and beauty all at the same time.
It's knowing that some days will be harder than others, but recognizing that you deserve a little grace and a little space to put your best foot forward. It's putting your feelings first, your needs before others, and being okay with that decision.
It's realizing when you feel lost and out of touch, but showing up as your authentic self anyway, whatever that version of you looks like. It's being loving towards yourself when you don't feel so loveable.
How can you show up as the best version of you, if you don't take care of you?
My journey to self love has been the most challenging and rewarding, and is certainly one that I never imagined being on. My negativity towards self love started so many years ago, until last summer when I let waves of anger, unhappiness and lack of gratitude for my life take over me. I knew living like this was not an option and refused to let it win.
So, I downloaded a meditation app and started meditating and journaling daily – even though it made me feel impatient and disliked it at first. This opened me up to the practices of self love and made me see how much we need it to feel connected to ourselves and our time here on earth. It made me see things in a new light, and denying positivity and happiness was no longer an option. Integrating a self love practice of meditation and journaling is what led me to my first retreat – the most life-changing weekend for me. My soul cracked open and I was able to see my life and self with clarity, and appreciate it for all its beauty.
Self love, for me, looks like many things now. It's feeling grateful for my life, my fiance, my family and friends as soon as I wake up in the morning. It's literally counting my blessings, which keeps me grounded. It's appreciating every moment for what it is, and knowing that every situation is teaching me something (even if I don't realize it). It's changing my vocabulary from “I have to do XYZ” to “I GET to do XYZ” - this will shift your mindset completely. Mostly, it's knowing that each situation is temporary, and that anything and everything you truly want in life is possible. It's being happy and content with all you have and all that you are. It's knowing that it's a continuous journey, and has no hard stop.
Self love means so many different things to so many different people, but the basic principles are the same. Self love is not selfish, it's kindness. It's not useless, it's necessary.