On Learning How To Love Myself At 25

Zack Minor

I’m about to turn 25.

Looking ahead to this seminal year in my life, I have had all of this new, perhaps latent, self doubt creep into my being. Clichés are clichés for a reason – in that so many people relate to the concept or experience – and so far the quarter life crisis has lived up to its tired place in our collective consciousness.

I’ve had so many moments lately of asking myself, am I on the right path? Is this all going somewhere? Am I worthy of what I want, personally and professionally? Will I find someone, have kids, enroll them in a dope Montessori school and live near the ocean?

Am I enough?

I’m a little sad and a little scared to assume my power as an adult person in this world. So because I am an action-item oriented human, I’m choosing to (at least try to) cancel out the self-doubt with self-love.

I’m fairly in the know of now agey, self-care practices and have experimented with my fair share of things, but in terms of “self love?” My honest interpretation of self love was the understanding that I was generally “alright” with myself – I certainly don’t hate myself, or my body, and am usually confident in most situations…at least after a self-pep-talk.

In my quest to learn more about legit self love, I discovered the work of Layla Martin. The first exercise she lists in her e-book is as follows:

Exercise: Love at Dawn and Dusk. For five minutes right when you wake up, and right when you go to sleep, pour total love and affection into yourself. She lists various ways you can do this – concrete steps – physical, emotional, spiritual – as opposed to my, “yeah I’m fine everything’s good,” self-love approach. So why the fuck not? I gave it a try.

Last night before I went to sleep, I curled myself up in a ball and snuggled myself a little. I gently stroked my arms, twirled my hair, and then said out loud: “I love you. You care so deeply. You are an amazing person, and friend, and daughter. I love you.”

And then I was sobbing. Really, really sobbing. Then I started laughing because I was so taken aback that I was sobbing, which lead to a kind of laugh/sob hybrid, and then my friend texted me, so…I got distracted and taken out of it.

I plan to practice this five minute dusk/dawn routine for as long as I can. And yes, next time I’ll turn on the little moon setting in my phone so it stops beeping.

25 – I see you. I am scared, but I’m owning it. And I’m working on it. And I’m going to love the shit out of myself all the way through it. TC mark

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