I learned about what they call “self-love” while I was in college. We were collectively going through a difficult time and I was busy trying to take care of all the people around me. I was trying to make sure that they felt supported and loved. I was busy making sure that the people I loved weren’t falling apart, but I didn’t notice that I was losing myself in the process.
During that time, a close friend of mine told me to love myself and to take care of myself. Take care of myself? Love myself? Wasn’t I already doing those things? I thought I was, but the reality was that I didn’t even know how. I had grown up in a world that was built on pleasing others. I spent my life giving every ounce of love in my heart to the people around me without saving any piece for myself.
I wasn’t the only one.
Looking around at my close friends, I realized that none of us knew how to love ourselves. We preached about self-love and taking care of ourselves, but in practice, none of us did. I think the saddest part was that none of us even knew where to start.
None of us knew how to ‘self-love,’ so we faked it. We faked loving ourselves. Isn’t that just the craziest thing?
We were so busy seeking that love in others that we stopped looking for it within ourselves, and that was our biggest mistake.
I’ve always felt a strong need to please others, to make others happy, even if it meant sacrificing my own happiness and mental health. I think a lot of my friends felt the same way. We were all strong, resilient women, and yet when it came to loving ourselves, we fell short.
We knew how to bring smiles to the faces of strangers, and yet we faked our own.
We live in a generation full of women who don’t know how to love themselves. Women who are beautiful, clever and capable, but have fallen to the deception and lies that society has engrained so deeply into our minds that we don’t even realize it’s there.
We are all worthy of love. But that love doesn’t need to come from others and our worth is not defined by the love we receive or don’t receive from another human being. We must unlearn the teachings of society and look within ourselves to find the love we truly desire. We need to start from the beginning, before our minds were filled with the need to please and the need to sacrifice.
Once we are happy on our own and we learn how to love ourselves without faking it, the rest of it won’t seem so difficult anymore.