This past weekend I had one of those long late night talks about everything with my friend Christina—I want to share a bit of that conversation with you all on the topic of self love. She asked: What does it mean to love yourself? How can we love ourselves better? I’ve given it some thought; the following is what self love looks like to me and how we can love ourselves better:
1. Accept and embrace everything that you are.
You have to love every part of yourself: your strengths and weaknesses, your best and your worst, flaws and all. It’s about embracing who you are, owning it, and not wanting to be anyone else but yourself. Love is unconditional, so you should be able to love yourself no matter what.
2. Learn to forgive.
a) Forgive yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you mess up, don’t dwell on it; acknowledge it, learn from it, and move on.
b) Forgive others who have hurt you, even if they haven’t apologized or if they don’t deserve it. This is difficult, but if you can do it, then it’s extremely powerful. When you have an a grudge or unsettled situation with someone, it occupies a space in your mind and causes negative energy to linger in your life. You want to learn to forgive others, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because you love yourself too much to let yourself continue hurting over what happened. Forgive them in your mind, simply so that you can have inner peace and continue moving forward with your life.
3. Take time to listen to yourself and do what’s best for you.
I do this through writing; I’m a huge fan of stream of consciousness writing, so I’ll pull out my notebook and write continuously until honesty flows out. It can take a while to peel off the layers of what’s on the surface, but if I keep writing and keep digging, I’ll reach the core of my true self. Through writing, I learn more about myself and better understand what I really feel and what I really need.
Self love is a journey, and perhaps all of our journeys to self love are different. I wonder, what does self love look like to you? Please do share in the comments!