The word self-love is frequently used by young adults nowadays. Numerous memes or quotes are posted on social media regarding self-love. It is obvious that many of us are aware that self-love is a necessity for each individual. It is very empowering to notice that self-love is promoted, especially in a time where we are easily exposed to so many things that can impact our thoughts and well-being. But what is the deeper meaning of self-love?
Before you can practice self-love you have to know what it stands for. The dictionary states self-love as: “the regard for one’s well-being and happiness“. This literally means the concern someone has to be in a state were he or she is happy and healthy. So self-love is something you do for yourself by yourself. Nevertheless, sometimes when we don’t care about our well-being, so when we don’t practice self-love, it is caused by allowing things to happen to us which do not sit well with our souls. If someone would dare you to walk on pieces of glass you would probably think that the person is out of their mind. You would probably turn the dare down, because you are concerned about your well-being; in fear of harming yourself physically. So why do you let failures, the way others treat you and other unfortunate circumstances define the love you have for yourself?
In order to love yourself you have to know your identity; meaning who you are as a person, what you stand for, your capabilities, your values, your fears etc. Self-awareness allows you to distinguish right from wrong, set healthy boundaries, improve yourself and so on. This will help you to realize that you are in control of what you can and cannot tolerate in your life.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that how you present yourself as a person often reflects how you think of yourself and how you love yourself. Being insecure about who I am had made me feel like I had no control over what was happening in my life. And that is a dangerous place to be in. Until I came to the realization that if I do not care about my own well-being, I could never be the best version of myself. How can one function properly in general if one is not self aware?
I know it is easier said than done, but it just takes one step and that is to be aware that you have the power and that you have the responsibility to change your life for the better. It is also important to give yourself time to heal and to forgive yourself for not loving yourself the way you were supposed to.
Although self-love is your own responsibility, I hope you will find people, things and places that will inspire you along your journey into loving yourself properly. When you come to that point, if it is today, next week or even after a year; I hope you will give yourself the love you owed yourself all along.