Updated: Jan 27
On social media platforms we often see how self-care is hyper glorified, and often it contradicts the idea of loving yourself. It is important that you take care of yourself and that you devote time to maintain the well-being of your mentality, body, and who you are as a being. However, how can you truly be able to take care of yourself if you do not love all of you?
What is self-love?
Self love is the acceptance and appreciation of you. From loving your body and its uniqueness to who you are as a person and what you are becoming. it is not a concept; it is the reality that you are a beautiful entity and emit an aura like no other. Taking care of yourself does it instantly translate into self-love because you may want others to perceive you a certain way and many want to be accepted in the milieu they encounter.
However, how do you think of yourself; do you appreciate your values, who you are and what you stand for? Do you see yourself as a significant person? Do you think you are enough for you and for others? If not it is important that you can put an emphasis on YOU.
This is not a situational event where you must desperately seek for options that will allow others to be able to make conclusions about you, the only person that can make valid conclusions of who you are is yourself. I understand that many cultures have idealized specific traits and proportions of a person's entirety however, times are not what they used to be and we are not in monotone society, what makes everybody beautiful is uniqueness, the differences in a variety of aspects.
However, we are not able to fully accentuate on our uniqueness if you do not fully appreciate and understand why we are the way we are. I cannot lie and say that self-love is as easy as flipping a switch it is not. The reality is, it is one of the biggest commitments that you are making to yourself, it is a lifetime experience that will allow you to better understand who you are, what you love, and what you seek in this lifetime.
Through this commitment we can grow and appreciate spiritual, psychological, and physical experiences. We should not shun those feelings of resentment we feel towards ourselves, instead, understand those feelings of complexity that you are feeling and evaluate yourself and question whether this is something that you should focus on. It is perfectly fine to want to be better but what is not OK is seeking unhealthy methods to change who you are.
You are perfect the way you are right now if you do not believe so, let me remind you that the person reading this is a smart, beautiful, passionate person who deserves happiness, deserves love and they deserve the feeling of worthiness. In the entire meaning of self-love, it is the reassurance that no matter what you can love yourself, be true to yourself and always be your biggest cheerleader without even questioning it.
As I have told many of my peers the importance of self-love is simple if you are not able to understand and love who you are right now how can you be able to project love to others because the most important person to love is yourself, that is a true everlasting love that is not abandon you and does not walk away. It is a warm and confident love. Loving yourself allows for you to be resilient in the face of adversity, we can face head on internal or external conflicts and go through life with a fluidity that grants us with the ability to accept others. Problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress etc. do make it difficult to accept and validate yourself however when we are able to overcome these battles piece by piece, we are able to configure an image of what we are and its beauty.
For some self-love is not an issue. However, if we go over communities, such as the LGBTQ+, who are not greatly appreciated and are still fighting for rights, many of them resent the fact that they are different and they are unique and find it difficult for them to love and appreciate who they are, it is a constant internal battle and it is not acknowledged quite enough and this must be. Members of the LGBTQ+ community already have to face difficult problems because of their sexuality they should not have to present themselves for something that is normal which is love. The same applies for people who come from different countries that constantly project the idealized portrayal of what beauty is.
This is where individuality is important in the practice of self-love; you should not compare yourself to others, because you are unique for a reason, and you need to acknowledge that you have what others do not which is beautiful. It is also important to acknowledge the stigma that men must be the strong masculine figures that should not feel emotions which is absolutely wrong men are entitled to feel emotions and express them in healthy ways with this stereotype surrounding them a lot of their issues go silence and project in negative ways therefore we must be able to encourage men to accept their imperfections, love themselves and if detrimental seek help. However, the problem is the same for women and even worse for trans and women of color.
We have social media in our face constantly projecting the ideal body for women and men. The ideal shape, the perfect way a woman should be, and should portray herself and it is nothing further from the truth women should not have to comply to any standards, we deserve to have the ability to love ourselves freely without even having to think about anybody else’s opinion just ours and the same applies for everyone.
Love yourself for who you are, your stretch marks, your height, your culture, your body, shape and size. Love every inch of yourself and live freely. On that note, I want to conclude things with a few simple ways on how to make loving yourself important, I understand that some of these tips may be situational and if you have the opportunity to practice them, I encourage you to do so:
Prioritize yourself: this means that you should focus on looking at yourself and evaluating who you are and understand that the way you think, love the way you look, and know the way you are is beautiful and it is special. If by any means you do not believe so and want to find ways of bettering yourself, think of healthy ways in which you could and be the person you want to be.
Invest in yourself: Not everyone knows what is best for you. Most do not know what you love and what you are passionate about, you should be able to fully express your true core values, who you are, and understand that you are your best investment and the most important thing you have is yourself.
And finally, even when times are rough, you understand that not every day is peaches and cream, and you don’t need to loathe all day because it is easier to accept the state you are in. Self-love gives room for healing and coming to terms with life. It is a necessity in our lives giving us the ability to take charge and count on ourselves first.