Sometimes self-love isn’t about praising yourself.
Sometimes self-love isn’t about being your own cheerleader.
Sometimes self-love isn’t just about feeling happy in your own skin and with your own decisions.
Are those concepts part of self-love? Yes.
Do those concepts encompass everything that self-love is? No.
Sometimes self-love means that we should dig deeper. Loving ourselves means lifting up our own hearts, but it also means that we must peel back the layers, too. It’s about having the courage to look at the bits of yourself that you don’t like and unpacking the reason as to why.
Sometimes self-love is having the courage to be honest with yourself and paying attention to the mistakes you made, the areas you need to grow within, and how you hope to change.
Sometimes self-love means putting boundaries in place and recognizing that sometimes the things that make you feel good aren’t necessarily going to fuel your growth, support your inner peace, and reaffirm your sense of self.
Sometimes self-love means having the courage to admit your own failures and then forgive yourself for making them, too.
You should love yourself.
You should lift yourself up.
You should cultivate a relationship within your own body, mind, heart, and soul that is rooted in admiration, affirmation, and love.
But honesty and self-reflection should be a part of that, too.
If you’re not happy with your body, take a step back, and assess. Are you eating healthily? Are you demonizing or celebrating your relationship with food? Are you drinking enough water? What are your movements like during the day, the week, the month? Only you can answer those questions. Only you can decide if you must love yourself better.
If you’re feeling unfulfilled at work, have you stopped to ask yourself why? Maybe it’s because the work isn’t challenging, or perhaps your workplace environment isn’t healthy, or maybe, just maybe, you’re not in a place that utilizes your skills to the best of your ability. But when was the last time you wrote down what your talents were? When was the time you reflected on your job or career, and what you have to bring to the table? Self-reflection is a necessary component of job growth, too.
If you’re dissatisfied in your relationship or your friendships, or if they do not positively fuel your sense of worth, that’s something to address, too. Are you getting what you need? What are you giving to the ones you love? Human connection takes work. It doesn’t matter if it’s a spouse, a partner, or a friend—they all require a certain amount of giving. Love yourself. Respect yourself. Do not settle for anything half-hearted. But it’s also essential to reflect and make sure that you’re not giving half of your heart, either.
Maybe your soul is exhausted. Perhaps you feel a sense of unrest. But perhaps this feeling is presenting itself not because you don’t love yourself enough, but maybe because you just haven’t stopped to take the time to learn about what weighs on your spirit.
Self-love is important.
When we love ourselves, we can love the people and the world around us better.
But self-love is more than just giving yourself a pep-talk and having an inner monologue that says “you’re right” all of the time.
That pep-talk is essential, and it’s often needed.
But self-reflection and looking inward are part of self-love, too.
Sometimes practicing self-love means looking at the pieces of you that you’d rather hide so that you can see where you want and need to grow.