Growing up in this world, we were often taught to put others first, above ourselves, in all situations. This has led to the view that self-love is selfish, taboo, and just not okay. But, that is far from the truth. While yes, it is important to care about others, this does not mean you completely kick yourself, your wants and your needs to the curb in the process. If you cannot and do not love yourself, you can’t love anyone else. You may think you can, but really you are only giving from an empty tank, furthering depleting yourself. Because love sprouts from within ourselves; we cannot shine unto others if we hide our own light.
So, okay, self-love is important, but what is it? It’s going to look different for different people, but ultimately it is all about you putting yourself first, finding what uplifts you and makes you truly happy (not short-term satisfaction, but long-term joy), and then doing it. It also means loving every part of yourself, the good and the bad, and yes, even the ugly. We aren’t perfect and the more we begin to learn to love and live with our imperfections, the better off we can be. Loving yourself entails stopping and preventing any harmful behavior that is so common in today’s world, and instead focusing on accepting yourself, prioritizing your needs, and gaining a true sense of who you are and what you want. Common destructive behaviors can include: harmful self-talk, physical harm, depriving yourself of things you want/need, etc. The first place to start with self-love is to stop these and focus more on yourself–in a positive way.
Self-love can actually lead to a happier, healthier you as well. Greater self acceptance can lead to higher satisfaction in your life and create a true joy and happiness in your life. Self-compassion can help your mental health as well as your ability to reach your goals. When you have compassion on yourself, you can accept your mistakes and understand that they are going to happen. You will realize not to be so hard on yourself, leading you to continuing to reach your goals. As you can see, self-love isn’t only important to your mental and physical being, but your life and achieving true happiness as well. When you make a habit of practicing self-love, you can gain a true sense of yourself. You will learn to push past others and take care of your own needs, and in turn, find the person who you want to be. The person you can become.
Loving yourself can be the first step to becoming a new you and to finding your true happiness. This is such an important element to have in your life, no matter what! While it’s not always easy to look past your flaws, your mistakes, your failures and love yourself through it all, it is so, so worth it. In the end, you are so, so worth it. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out these ways to practice self-love.
How do you practice self-love?