So much of our lives are focused on the pursuit of love, as self love, or love from the people around us. And who can deny the value of self love?
It is what keeps us all going, what adds value and meaning to life in general. But, all the love is directed outwards, to everyone but ourselves. My question is, when did we decide self love was a ‘bad thing’?
There is a lot of talk out there saying self love isn’t selfish. But, as I feel about many of the topics thrown around on the internet, the true essence often gets lost. People consider self love the latest trend, or even excuse, to be selfish. This is where something as important as self love gets a bad rap.
This isn’t self love at all!
When it comes down to the core meaning of self love, we’re talking about honouring who we are as human beings. We are talking about setting boundaries that protect us from outside influences that would stand in the way of our true, authentic self. And, we’re talking about being free to express our own wants and needs.
Self Love is Simple.
It means taking the time to do something you love, that lights you up, when you need to. It means spending an hour in silence reading a book every morning if it helps you re-connect and re-energize. Or, getting someone to step in with the kids so that you can meditate every day at 10am if that’s what will bring you back to a place of joy.
Self love is anything that you need to do for you, that reminds you of what lights you up!
This concept has been distorted by the ‘putting everyone else first’ mentality. The thing is, when you put everyone else first you start to believe you are meant to come last. This becomes cemented in your heart and mind, and that is like draining you of your life blood. We are unique individuals, and without the ability to express our uniqueness we become a greyed-out version of ourselves.
This can go so far that we lose sight of that part of us altogether. We forget that we love to write, ride a bike, go to art galleries. Why? Responsibilities. But, this doesn’t need to be the case. This is why it is so important to shift the status quo. To normalize taking time for yourself.
When you understand that being able to express yourself through your hobbies, talents and values is an essential part of being a whole and authentic person, you will begin to see why self love is so much more than spa days and nail polish. Ultimately, we need to be accepted for who we are, and to know that our needs matter.
The Importance of Self Love and How to Cultivate it
Another side to self love is the way we talk to ourselves. The expectation placed on us on a daily basis has created a monster that is constantly putting us down. The saddest things is that the monster lives in our own heads. Learning to return to a place of self love, to speak kind words to ourselves, is a mountain many of us need to climb.
When last did you listen to the way you talk to yourself? Pay close attention and you will notice a pattern. Mostly negative? Then you know it is time to reign yourself in, to rap yourself over the knuckles every time you hear a nasty word. Try writing a thank you letter to yourself. It is a beautiful, healing process.
Never underestimate the way you treat yourself. Being a kind, generous, positive person to everyone around you, but leaving yourself out of the picture, will leave you empty. No matter how much you do for everyone else.
So, start by understanding that to be there for others does not have to come at the expense of your own self love. Instead, start with yourself. Feed your own fire first, and once it is burning brightly you can share your flame with others.
Self love is not a trend, and it is definitely not selfish. Self love is essential. It is valuing yourself and your place on this earth. It is acknowledging that you have as much right to be happy and to fulfill your path in this life as anyone else.
Think of the example you put out into the world if you honour your own needs. You show everyone else that it is okay to express themselves, love themselves, put their needs first. You show the world that you believe you are deserving of love. And, when you do that, you let them know that they too are deserving of love. And that’s how you change the status quo!