There has been a lot of talk about self-love but what does that really mean? There are three aspects of self-love I think everyone should tackle in their quest for more self-love.
So what is self-love?
It’s defined as many things. Some definitions characterize it as being selfish and the opposite of altruism. Other definitions focus on having healthy self-esteem. While other definitions focus on how a person spends their energy on others versus on themselves.
I don’t think true self-love is selfish. It is not being overly boastful or prideful. To me, it is a combination of well-groomed self-esteem, awareness of who you are l, what you can offer and your limits and then making decisions that protect your sense of ‘self’. It is both a verb and a noun. Small actions towards self-love (prayer/meditation, exercise, saying no to plans) and the state of being confident and full of self-esteem.
How did I cultivate this for myself?
1. Understanding my value. I believe I am a daughter of God, I have been fearfully and wonderfully made. With such an identity, I must also believe that I am valuable, loved unconditionally, the daughter of the savior of the world.
Even if you don’t have any religious beliefs you are the only one like you. No one has completely lived your life. Your uniqueness alone is valuable and should be treasured. We are all humans walking this earth and no matter or social status or location we want to feel and believe that our present means something. I’m here to say it does.
2. What you believe and think about yourself means more than what anyone believes or thinks about you. I struggled with a lack of self-esteem for many many years. I masked it well with humor and my extroverted nature. Ironically the more I have grown in my self-confidence, the more introverted I have become. I have learned to love the quiet time with myself because I have also learned to deal with the negative self-talk I had been trained to use against myself. The bullying and outside attacks on my self-esteem has warped my idea of how beautiful, valuable, and unconditionally loved I am.
Self-love is understanding that bit also preaching it daily to yourself in a world that thrives off of our doubts, perceived weakness, and longing for acceptance.
3. Guard your heart and find your tribe. Once you discover your value and have internalized it. You want to create an armor against those who would rather you remain insecure and self-hating. True friends and allies are not threatened when you are your most confident self. They celebrate your beauty and value. They lift you up on the days you slip back into the negative self-talk. I have been blessed to have champions that saw the best in me when I could only see the worse. Those that fell away or slight to dim my light where the ones I had to let go from my life.