Lately, I am consumed with trying to figure out how to actively practice self-love, What is self-love exactly? Some people think that the word explains itself, in fact, the Merriam-Webster dictionary plainly defines Self-Love as the love of self. The dictionary even goes on to describe it as conceit, which by definition is the excessive appreciation of one’s worth. Now I don’t know about you, but typically when we call someone conceited, it has a negative connotation behind it and is intended as an insult. I tried to keep dissecting the definition of self-love to see if I would find an answer to what it is and how to jump on board. In the end, I concluded that society didn’t define it with positivity, after all the word excessive means having more than enough.
This interpretation is the exact reason we learn about the importance of loving ourselves late in life. So many of us are in seasons of healing as a result of the lack of knowledge attesting to the significance of Self-Love. Society has taught us that it is selfish to love yourself. Mental Health Struggles are at an all-time high due to people emptying themselves by pouring into others without so much as a refill. Now don’t get me wrong showing appreciation to someone or something other than yourself is a beautiful act of service; that service should stem from the love you have for yourself. I hear so many women including myself say, “I can’t date someone unless they love me the way I love myself.” All I can think of is the kind of person we would attract if that were true. Nothing good can come from being an afterthought. The type of person we draw will ultimately put us in the last place considering that is where we deem ourselves on our list.
What if before we put another human being in the equation, we create our definition of Self-Love. An explanation with no other motive than to honestly be at your best for yourself not for anyone else. What if self-defining the word results in embracing opportunities. The type of opportunities that position you where you dreamt possible before society told you what you could and couldn’t achieve. What if it leads to recognizing the person in the mirror and loving the reflection you see staring back at you. What if the result of self-defining this societal negatively defined word meant finding out for yourself that it is, in fact, a travesty. These occurrences are some of life’s ultimate achievements.
The answer to How can I practice self-love? Is by doing whatever you feel focuses on and celebrates YOU. It’s making a life-long commitment of continuously and consciously doing the work that will produce your best version. I believe it goes deeper than getting fit, becoming a vegetarian, or even creating a nighttime skin regimen. For everyone it will look different, maybe you start from the outside, which seeps into how you feel inside or perhaps vice versa. The Goal remains the same that every part of your being inside and out should transform.
I want to see you out comfortably by yourself eating a meal and having a drink for no other occasion than celebrating you. I want you to recognize when you’re offering a fragment of yourself rather than the whole you. I want you to learn how to fill your tank up to full instead of trying to get by on E. I want to see you create a way to use that tough season in your life that could’ve taken you out, to better yourself. It would be exciting for me to hear the many ways you recreated yourself and embraced every moment of transformation. Self-love is not smooth sailing by any means, especially in our codependent society. Self-love does not require permission nor should it be something you apologize for choosing. It is your natural given decision, and I do hope you decide to end the disservice and actively partake in the journey of self-love. Loving yourself is not mutually exclusive to loving others, it co-exists.
Simply Janeen ❤
“self-love.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2011. Web. 31 July 2018.