Self-love: A term you’ve probably seen everywhere. From inner work to putting on a sheet mask, hundreds of people have attributed different things to this word. Nobody actually knows what it is anymore. It’s even an annoying word to some because of how overused it is. But is it really a quirky term people stamp on everything, or is there more to it than that? Here is my own interpretation of what self-love may be:
Self-love is about understanding.
Getting to know ourselves is an act of self-love. Becoming aware of our own thoughts and emotions can be extremely helpful when it comes to our journey of growth. It helps us break the patterns and cycles that have been getting in the way and reshape our lives. Of course, it’s not that knowing more ‘fixes’ us, it just gives us the tools we need to actually create change. And we get it, it’s easier said than done.
In fact, it can actually be scary to dig deep because we have no idea what we may find. Our favorite trait about ourselves could be just a coping mechanism. Something we thought was our superpower could be a trauma response. Having to unlearn something so precious to us can be very saddening and we may even be reluctant to grow because we’re scared we won’t recognise ourselves anymore. Take the leap. You are not becoming a different person; you are rather shedding the parts of you that weren’t truly yours and you’re coming home to yourself.
‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will control you and you will call it fate’ -Carl Jung
Self-love is about acceptance.
Observe yourself; no judgement, no blame or shame. We are good and bad, up and down, calmness and rage. We are a bit of everything. It’s impossible to get everything right all the time, so allow yourself to make mistakes. It doesn’t make you less authentic or a hypocrite. It just makes you human. To move forward with hope and grace, we need to accept ourselves. All our different sides. Even the actions we aren’t proud of.
You did the best you could with the information you had. Instead of looking back and experiencing negative emotions, be proud of yourself. This version of you knows better. You’ve worked so hard that it feels almost strange to believe that you ever did that, and that’s a powerful epiphany. Beating yourself up isn’t the same as holding yourself accountable. Feeling guilty or ashamed doesn’t help us become better people, it just stops us from acknowledging that we’re human and we can make mistakes sometimes. We can grow from a place of love and compassion.
Think of this: if you were your best friend, would you have been so harsh? Or would you believe in second chances?
Self-love is about trust.
Just because you made a mistake before, doesn’t mean you will do it again. We often fear making decisions not because we don’t know what we want, but because we’re afraid we’ll be picking the wrong one. Making a decision that didn’t end well sometimes almost scars us and we start perceiving ourselves as someone who is incapable of getting it right.
Allow yourself to grow and take risks. No matter where your decisions lead, you can always depend on yourself. You actually build stronger self-trust when you go for it because most of the time, it’s not as scary as we think it will be.
You don’t keep the training wheels on forever after falling off the bike once. You fall and you fall again until you don’t. Or maybe you will still fall sometimes, and that’s okay.
Self-love is about forgiveness.
It’s not just accepting what happened, it’s also forgiving yourself for it. It’s showing up for yourself with love and tenderness. Forgiveness helps us open our hearts to ourselves, which allows us to open our hearts to others too. It helps us come from a place of understanding, gentleness and mercy; it helps make second chances possible.
Resentment creates baggage. It allows all our mistakes to haunt us around like ghosts only we can see and feel. It holds us back from trusting and accepting ourselves. And ultimately, it holds us back from loving ourselves. Forgiveness helps us see the beauty of ourselves and everyone around us. It’s the direct connection to our inner peace.
When you hold on to nothing, you open yourself up for everything.
Self-love is about you and only you.
It’s different for everyone. What works for others may not work for you. You’re never too late, or too early, or too fast or too slow. We’ve all been through different experiences. And even when we go through similar ones, we process them differently. It’s a personal experience that somehow we all relate to. It’s how we see ourselves, and in turn, how we see everything around us. It’s how we come home to ourselves.
The journey of self-love is whatever resonates with you. It’s taking things at your own pace. It’s healing the parts you’re aware of and ready to heal. The fact that it is completely in your control makes it scary, yes, but also so exciting. You are the architect of your own life; so start showing up as such.
Let’s do this together!
We’ve dedicated our Wednesday nights to exactly this. Self-love in all its levels and forms. We believe that self-love is the beginning of taking your power back and living the life you’ve always dreamed of. The only thing more beautiful than being comfortable and happy with ourselves, is seeing other people feel it too. Join us on this wonderful collective, yet personal, journey of self-love. Tap here for more info!