When it comes to self-love, most of us are work in progress. It might be empathy urging us to put others’ needs before our own, or a social obligation to earn a place within a community by helping someone else before we take care of ourselves. This is very noble behavior, hats off to us all. However, if we genuinely wish to positively impact the reality around us, we need to take care of ourselves first.
To set the record straight, self-love is not eating a box of chocolates at 11 PM or counting away the hours in front of a TV screen, even though there’s nothing wrong with that. Self-love is prioritizing your happiness and well-being in a healthy and self-compassionate manner while consciously working towards maximizing your potential to live out your dreams and lead the life of purpose. Only with this self-awareness can we help others love themselves, too.
Self-love is born in the mind, and mental health is a castle of its own. It has to be built with solid bricks, laid carefully and with intention. In this fortress lives your self-love. In order for it to be properly protected, you need to put in effort into strengthening the castle walls regularly.
Self-love is forgiveness, no regrets. As Maya Angelou once said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Life is about constant learning (sometimes the hard way). Forgive yourself for not knowing better. Now you do and that’s what matters. Try to also forgive those who stood in your way with folded arms and blocked the sunlight. They didn’t know better either.
How you love yourself shows us how to love you. Self-love is also the beginning of your love towards others. It’s a ripple that can activate waves felt around the world. Self-love is freedom, self-love is catharsis. Once it starts within you, it spreads all around you.