Self-love has different definitions. It means different thing to different people. In fact so is the case with definitions of love.
What is self-love?
Kenz defines self-love as “Treating yourself the way you would want others to treat you.” While Rudy Francisco says ‘I’m still learning to love the parts of me that no one claps for.’ To me that has always been the definition of self-love, accepting and embracing yourself as you are that day even in all the ways that you are falling short of what you or others had hoped you would be.”
And that exactly is what self-love is- to ‘love’ ‘self’ the way you want, to value the way you want, to spoil yourselves and also care for in all the pleasant possible ways. To ‘love’ ‘self’, whatever is your definition of love.
Why is self-love important?
The culture that raises us has made us believe that to practice self-love is an act of selfishness. It has been ingrained in our minds that to put our needs first is downright mean. But, can you truly love someone if you don’t love yourself first?
Everyone needs love. I would say it is our duty to spread love in the world, but not at the cost of self-love. Also, who else is supposed to love you if not you? In the absence of self-love, we start looking for it in external factors- spouse, partner, children, parents. And, that is where the expectations game begins and throttle the beautiful relation. Self-love is important so that you can handle yourself- at your worsts and bests! When people love you, it is a blessing. When you love self, it is bliss!
How to Practise Self love?
Loving yourself is not a one-time event, it is a lifetime process. You have to love yourself even when it gets hard, even more when you don’t want to. You can bury your essence but you cannot destroy it. Here are some things you can embrace on your journey called self-love:
- Talk to yourself in a loving way
Never talk negatively about yourself. Somedays, it seems we have the entire world against us. On those days we need ourselves to lift us. Do not limit your capabilities not even in your actions, especially not ever in your thoughts!
- Accept yourself
With all the flaws and all the goodness. You are imperfect. So am I and everyone else. I know I owe it only to myself to tweak the things I don’t like about myself. Also, I owe it to myself to embrace the ones that are integral to my identity but the world rolls its eyes at. I don’t owe you anything, world!
- Set boundaries
At work. In relationships. You should know that there is an empire you rule. You set the boundaries for your empire. Know that you are the beautiful queen there, you set the rules, you break the rules, and you rock and rule!
- Ask your guidance system for help
Your gut instincts are your map, your guide. Address the hollowness if you find any within. Express the joy that resides deep inside of you. Seek help. Offer help. Love. Laugh. Live.
- Remind yourself why you are precious
Hali proposes a brilliant idea: to list down all the reasons you deserve love and act on it.
“It is not someone else’s job to love you, it is yours!” The process of making the world a lovely place begins with harboring love within yourself.