February is the month of love and often the time of year we are forced to think about love in the romantic sense. Being in love is pushed on us from all angles, from social media to marketing. But what about SELF love?
We forget this time of year that loving yourself is even more important than loving your significant other, family, or friends. Without a strong love for yourself you are pouring from an empty cup and not shining as bright as you could if you chose to show yourself the love you show others.
Some of the ways I enjoy showing myself love is indulging in a long skincare routine every morning and night. This 5-10 minutes twice a day gives me the pocket of peace I need to remind myself I am worthy and deserve kindness, especially from myself. I also love ending the night with a nice meal that not only tastes good but looks good, presentation can make the dish you are eating feel that much more special. Cooking and cleaning up while listening to your favorite music doesn’t make it feel like a chore, but rather a personal karaoke dance party. Lastly, working out regularly reminds my body of all it is capable of and gives me the opportunity to sweat out some stress and anxiety.
I challenge you this year to do more things for YOU, I promise it is not selfish!
What is self love ? Self love is different for everyone . On my journey of self love I learned for me that self love was about prioritizing myself , putting myself before the world rather then putting the world before myself . In the world I meant specifically significant others/love partners and making them the center of my world and neglecting myself . Self love is about being your best self . It’s about forgetting what the world thinks of you and falling in love with the way you think feel and see yourself . Self love is looking at yourself in the mirror with all your imperfections and knowing that you are still the most beautiful person in the world . It’s accepting that even on your worst days , even when your not feeling your best even when your feeling your lowest that no matter what you are still worthy of all good things . I’ve learned on this journey of self love of mine to accept my ugliest truths , to be my biggest critic , and to accept myself at my absolute worst because it does get ugly. It’s a job that never stops being done . Everyday when we think we’ve learned ourselves there’s something else to learn . It allows us room to discover more about who we are and why we are the way we are . It’s about allowing experiences to shape and mold us into exactly the people were meant to be . In the midst of it you get to discover the things we love , the things that make us happy , the people that make us happy , or true morals , values , life principles , and it also allows us to develop boundaries and to decide on the things we won’t accept . But most importantly for me what counts is the things and people that can feed my soul . People can fill up our hearts but only a few can touch our soul. In order to truly be happy we have to choose to be happy . We have to make it a priority to choose happiness and peace over everything . We have to choose to eliminate the things that do no fill up our souls and go where there are high vibrations . Energy transfer and vibrations are real and the energies in which we surround ourself with do effect who we are . You ever realized people who are not good for you drain yourself spirit ? Well I did . I’ll be the first to tell you I been through it all . Heartbreak after heartbreak , disappointment , sadness , neglect , betrayal , emotional abuse and even physical abuse all types of hurt a woman should never have to endure . I’ve had love sink at my lowest and I had to pick up the pieces and lift myself up alone . I know what it feels like to have someone tarnish your good heart and shred you to pieces just for being the loving human being that you are . But you see for all those heartbreaks that I endured I realized I didn’t love myself enough . How could i say I loved myself enough but accepted things that were less of me ? As much as I good woman I knew I was and believed I deserved queen treatment my words didn’t match my actions by the way I treated myself . I say “ treated myself” because although it was someone inflicting pain onto me how I allowed others to treat me was a clear reflection of myself . How could I be made of so much love and embody so much love and allow someone to treat me less than ? How could I have such a big heart and so much love to give and let someone trade that with disrespect and mistreatment? I had so many questions and not enough answers till I decided to find answers . It’s a simple yet complicated answer . I didn’t love myself enough . I didn’t understand my true value . I let love get the best of me and let people who didn’t deserve me get more of me while I left so little for myself . Constantly pouring into the cups of others while mine was empty . But you see that’s the crazy part about love . It teaches us that we should be selfless but sometimes we have to be selfish . Selfish and remember to always save some love for ourselves . We can’t add onto others if we’re empty . Life taught me there’s no bigger love than the love you have for yourself . Love yourself because your the person you have to live with for the rest of your life and don’t forget never put your worth in the hands of another person . Remember that you are worthy of the love you give so freely onto others and if it’s anything that you are , YOU ARE A QUEEN .
Self love looks different on everybody, especially because we all discover it and encounter this at different times, ages, places, etc. Everyone’s milestones, goals, objectives and results are different because of the things we’ve been through and what we want to achieve. Whether it takes trauma, stress, or even a random moment of realization that triggers you into starting your journey, just know it’s a beautiful period and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Self love comes in so many different forms and it takes practice and execution to figure your methods and mindsets out. Sometimes it’s a mental thing, sometimes it’s a physical thing, and sometimes it’s both. There’s affirmations, habits, challenges, books/journals, quotes, meditations and so much more practices for embodying self love.
Personally, I‘ve struggled with esteem issues that came about in probably my early 20s, surprisingly enough, accompanied with some anxiety so self-love became something I wanted to refocus on. I thought some people have it naturally, it was just a matter of display and enforcement. However, you begin to realize some people either struggle with it don’t have it all, which is understandable because of people’s backgrounds, environments, childhood, etc., play a big part. Being mindful of all those encompassing, self love is not easy, but it is so important and beautiful when it comes into fruition.
All in all, being in love with every part of yourself is a beautiful thing but it doesn’t happen overnight. I think it’s also very important to mention that it’s an ongoing, constant journey and you’re never really done or complete… you learn to just enjoy the process for what it’s worth and realize every step you take is an amazing effort into becoming a better you.
I never understood the importance of self love, and at 32 years of age I am discovering the true meaning and what it takes to love myself. Making other happy and putting everyone’s needs before mine has always been my top priority. I really enjoy helping those I care for, making others happy, and lifting others up. I truly believe the world will be a better place if everyone were happy internally and loved themselves.
In 2021 I went through many challenging moments, in which made me realize enough was enough. It was time to fill up my cup more than I do for other. With doing that, I’ve learned so much about myself, what I love, what I will not tolerate, learning to set boundaries. When you begin to learn the importance of loving yourself, you realize so much positive things happening for you, the energy you crave changes, your attitude changed, the way you speak about yourself changes. Your self confidence begins to grow and you start realizing your worth. You realize you deserve honest true love because you know you’re capable of reciprocating the same. I began to care more about my appearance, shopping for myself and wanting to keep myself together more often. If you depend on others for your happiness, when they leave, you will feel like you are left with nothing.
I am definitely not where I want to be, but in just one year I’ve noticed a huge difference in myself and I know there’s more amazing things in store for me. I will continue to put myself first, and know that I can’t fill up no one’s cup if mine is half empty. When you lack self esteem, it shows in every aspect of yourself. Love yourself, no one will ever give you the happiness you are looking for but yourself.