If I ask you what you think about the concept “Self Love”, what will your answer be? Will you agree with my statement that Self Love is a foundational stone for our success? Or will you crucify me and tell me that Self Love is selfish and should not be part of my thought pattern or vocabulary?
And I believe that this is the biggest problem with Self Love, the controversial views coming from so many different backgrounds, beliefs and world views. It brings confusion and uncertainty to such a point where we will rather not talk about it or even dare to say that we put ourselves first in any way.
The worst part, both sides and even all the views in between have some truth hidden within. But as always, the key is finding the balance for yourself and then following that with everything you have.
Today, I do not want to take sides or defend a viewpoint. I want to share my Self Love Journey and how it changed my perceptions and life forever.
A LITTLE BIT OF MY BACKGROUND
I was born in 1971, the decade when children were seen but not heard. This concept left me believing that I did not have the right to say what I think or what I feel. And it got worse during my 22 years of marriage. Every time I gathered the courage to express myself, it ended up in chaos, to such a point where I did not even try anymore.
The one thing I never realised is how all of this affected my view of myself. If your only experience is correction or rejection when you dare say what you think or what you feel, you will start believing that you are not worthy. And then your self-esteem and confidence tumble to a place of nothingness.
All of this might sound extreme, but it does not make it any less devastating.
WHAT I LEARNED OVER THE YEARS
There are so many things that I learned on my Self Love Journey. But the one that stood out the most to me and which I want to share with you is the following.
EVERYTHING that happens to us causes us to form certain perceptions about who we are and how we see ourselves. These perceptions have a tremendous effect on our self-esteem and self-confidence. And as well known to almost everyone, self-esteem and self-confidence are the cornerstones that will either help us move forward or will keep us feeling stuck and unfulfilled where we find ourselves at the moment.
So what does all of this have to do with my Self Love Journey?
I discovered that the greatest love we can have for ourselves is to learn and grow the ability to become self-aware. Self-awareness includes many aspects, but if I can sum it up in one sentence, it would be:
TO KNOW THE REAL REASON WHY YOU THINK, FEEL AND ACT A CERTAIN WAY, AND TO BE ABLE TO DISTINGUISH HOW THIS INFLUENCE YOUR VIEW OF YOURSELF
- Self Love is not only putting yourself first or making time to do what you enjoy.
- Self Love is so much more.
- Self Love is getting to know yourself and appreciate the beauty within you.
- Self Love is not allowing the world to define you, but to become comfortable with who you are.
- Self Love is learning to believe that you were born to reach greatness in your lifetime.
- Self Love is to allow yourself to pursue and live life to its absolute fullest.
SKILLS THAT HELPED ME TO LOVE MYSELF
Various skills helped me to love myself. The most important one that I had to master was to be brutally honest with myself.
Is being brutally honest with yourself a skill, you may ask. And my answer will be a definite YES. The most important one we can ever master. Unfortunately, this is not a skill that is well known or practiced.
From a young age, peoples opinions and expectations became the measure we use to evaluate ourselves. Conditioned to listen to everyone around us, we take their views of us as our truth. And in the process, the person we are or even want to become is distorted to a place of non-existence.
Learning to be brutally honest with ourselves includes being able to do the following
- Know what I think
- Know why I think the way I do – finding the root
- Know what I feel
- Knowing how my thoughts and feelings influence how I see myself and consequently, my actions.
WHAT SELF LOVE MEANS TO ME
To me, Self Love does not start with what we do for ourselves. Self Love begins with what we think about ourselves and how we see ourselves.
Do you see yourself as worthy of having me-time?
Do you see yourself as able to make the changes to move forward in life?
Do you see yourself as special and unique in every way?
- Self Love is a journey of discovering, accepting and being who you are, your unique qualities and those things that make you special in every way.
- Self Love is taking a stand and telling the world that it no longer has the right to determine your value and worth.
- Self Love is being truthful about who you are and being at ease with your realness, this includes the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Self Love is having grace with yourself and knowing that you are doing the best you can to become the best you.
- Self Love is loving yourself and accepting yourself unconditionally.
HOW SELF LOVE CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER
Self Love took me from a place of bondage to a place of total freedom.
Now I am free to be just me. I am free in knowing what I think and what I feel because I can identify the lies and replace them with the truth.
I am confident, because I am comfortable with who I am. I no longer allow people, the world or my circumstances to dictate or determine my worth any longer.
I am truthful about what is going on in my life, and I am free to love myself for who I am.
My Self Love journey was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, but I will do it all over again.
I started this blog with the following sentence:
“If I ask you what you think about the concept “Self Love”, what will your answer be?”
Well, my answer is:
SELF LOVE IS THE FREEDOM TO EXPRESS WHO WE ARE AND ALLOWING WHO WE ARE TO GUIDE US ON OUR UNIQUE PATH IN LIFE.
Photo taken by – @bartlarueeppler