Let’s be real.
Instagram’s version of self-love is just the very tip of the iceberg.
Self-love is not only about taking bubble baths while drinking mimosas and singing Lizzo’s songs at the top of your lungs.
Although those things are great, and you should definitely do them, self-love is so much more than that.
Honestly, more often than not, the self-love journey is not glamorous or instagramable at all.
Self-love is a habit that you develop through daily practice.
Self-love requires discipline and commitment.
Self-love is deconstructing negative patterns that you’ve been carrying around since childhood and replacing them with new, empowering ones.
I like to describe self-love as taking care of yourself the same way you would take care of a child you love dearly. Talking to yourself with the same love and respect that you would to that child.
For example, if the child makes a mistake, you wouldn’t go on and on telling them how stupid they are, would you? I don’t think so.
Then why do you do that to yourself? Why do you talk to yourself so viciously?
Perhaps because that’s what you learned since childhood?
Well, news flash, you’re not a child anymore, and now it’s your time to reparent yourself.
Try to think about how you would react if that child you love makes a mistake.
Maybe you would explain, lovingly, why their action is harmful, and you would give them an alternative of what to do the next time something similar happens.
Maybe you would hold them tightly and remind them that you’re there for them and that you trust that they will learn from their mistake.
Maybe you would just hold their hand while they cry and let their emotions out.
Imagine if you could be there for yourself in that same way.
Wouldn’t it be much more empowering than bashing yourself?
I think it would.
Now, let’s make something very clear, self-love is not the same as compliance.
Compliance is the lowest level of conformity.
Compliance is not caring.
Compliance is giving up.
Self-love, instead, is wanting what’s best for you.
Self-love is prioritizing your long-term well-being over immediate gratification.
Self-love requires you to be radically honest with yourself.
You have to tell the truth to yourself, all of it, especially the harsh truths, even when doing so hurts.
For example, if you have the habit of binge drinking alcohol, don’t sugar coat it and say, ‘but it’s not that bad.’
No, you need to be brutally real with yourself, face your darkness, accept your reality, and then take the steps necessary to transcend that harmful habit.
It’s not easy, and it’s not fun, but you know your life will be drastically benefited from this change.
Self-love is definitely not about seeing the world through delusional rose-colored glasses. But it’s also not about accepting the status quo.
Self-love is believing in yourself even when nobody else does.
Self-love is remembering your inherent value.
Self-love is speaking up for what you believe in. It’s standing up for yourself and releasing the need for external validation.
Self-love is honoring the deepest desires of your soul, even when no one else understands them.
Self-love is about knowing that you’re worthy of living a life you truly love and doing whatever it takes to turn the idea of that life into a reality.
Self-love is also about being kind and patient and compassionate with yourself and your journey.
Self-love is remembering that you’re only human, and no one gave you a manual on how to live life. You’re always doing the best you can with the information you have at the moment.
You will do better when you know better. But you cannot hate yourself into a better version of you.
The first step towards self-actualization is accepting and loving yourself exactly as you are right now.
You are enough.