Love is our motivator, our supporter, our purpose. As love keeps us balanced and in orbit, our hearts breathe life, each beat connecting us through an elevated consciousness. And this cycle continues freely, graciously, endlessly around us. But while it may seem natural to offer our love openly to others, self-love is something strangely different. It requires patience, acceptance, understanding – things we are often willing to have with others, yet not with ourselves.
It would make much more sense if self-appreciation was an indisputable reality. After all, our bodies are pretty incredible and deserving pieces of machinery. Your body has 60,000 miles of blood vessels. You can survive even without most of your internal organs. Your nose can remember 50,000 different smells. Bone is stronger than steel. You produce 300 billion new cells every single day. You are made up of 7 octillion atoms. That’s a lot of atoms; wonderful, unique, fascinating little atoms. Think about it – we are constantly witnessing and experiencing a miracle: our own bodies. Still, for some reason, we find it nearly impossible to completely escape feelings of unworthiness and fragility.
I’ve struggled with self-love for a long time. For me, it manifested in an eating disorder that extinguished the sparkle in my eyes and fractured my gentle spirit. At times, it’s been a journey of truly finding out who I am; a journey in search of beauty and compassion and grace. At others, it’s been a ferocious internal battle; a battle of isolation and shame and hurt. More importantly, however, it’s been a constant reminder of all of the support and love that’s out there; the love that unfailingly surrounds us at any given moment. It’s been an elemental opportunity to grow and foster the self-love that I have always been so hesitant to nourish myself with. It’s taken years for me to realize that my greatest source of love and affection comes not from another’s heart, but from my own.
I write this for those of you who are going through something similar. Because it’s easy to feel like you’re walking alone. But it’s not anything to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s an unimaginable source of light and strength. When all is said and done, the struggle will create an even more beautiful you. The saying really is true: beautiful people don’t just happen. The world may be heavy, but you are strong. And the moment you love yourself, unapologetically, wholly, and kindly, you are unlimited.