When I first thought about writing this post, I didn’t feel entirely like I had an answer. I mean, it’s a hard thing to pin down isn’t it, self love? It’s so subjective, and if you’re anything like me, a moveable feast depending on what day of the week it is.
But after mulling it over for a while, the thing that I landed on was this…
It’s a shift in perspective and a question.
What do I know to be true?
Inherently, that whoever you are , you are so worthy of love, you are the most deserving. But that can feel like a conceptual leap most times.
So what’s the first step? And what does that look like practically?
For me it’s what some one who loved me would most likely tell me to do… eat something delicious that a human being has cooked (i.e. not from a packet), make sure there is a colour other than beige involved (i.e. fresh veggies), drink water, call home, move your body, rest, sleep, get out in nature, and take care of yourself, as well as someone you love would.
And then I’d say, how often are you doing this? Self-care, and self-love, are not things to be relegated to a Sunday, a bubble bath, or a holiday to some far flung place that you’re smashing on the credit card and thinking about later. It’s about what you are doing every single day.
Finding a pocket of time to notice something, to ask for something, to just let yourself be fully 100% you and let that be seen by someone. To find play and fun and joy, because as adults they are usually the first things to go. Take up salsa dancing (I’ve just started!), revisit a hobby you used to love as a kid (horse riding anyone?), spend time with or watch someone really funny. Sometimes when the concepts feel too vague, it’s an outside-in job, rather than an inside-out one.
Lastly, it’s about recognising that the times we are most likely to make change are when we are forced to. And right now I think we’re in a genuine self-love deficit.
Because what else is there? We are already very well practiced in the alternative. Shopping trips, endless scrolling, FOMO, comparison, more consumption, more take, more separation.
Most things in the modern world are geared to divide and conquer, to remove ourselves from this place of inherent worth because it’s so much easier to control when we’re all plugged in and happily participating in the biggest magic trick of all time. If you’re busy looking over here, you’re not looking over there.
We must have the courage to ask to see it all. We must have the courage to build better boundaries and know when we are being pushed and asked too much of. The system continues to feed into itself, it won’t change because you’ve identified the problem, you have to change.
You have to be brave and lead a one person revolution that steps out of the societal expectation and step into your power.
Both are uncomfortable, neither is easy. But it rests with you. And to do it, you must rest, you must turn inward and recharge. To shift perspective and understand that your merit is not based on someone else’s approval or that your output is tied to your worth. Learn how to rest., learn how to be gentle and kind to yourself first.
Our most important relationship is with ourselves and how we honour our soul and spirit. So give yourself a break and treat yourself as the biggest love of your life. Because we are all in this lifetime-long-term relationship until the very end. And I think that that person deserves to be unashamedly loved.