The most important relationship that any one of us will ever have after our relationship with God, is the relationship that we have with ourselves. Today is February first and February is nationally recognized as the month of love. What is true love? True love is unconditional, and begins with you. In my opinion, you can't fully love another person if you don't love yourself.
Self love is learning to accept yourself as you are. This includes all your flaws and short comings. Self love means, embracing who you are, where you've come from and where you're going. Self love is happiness and freedom! It's knowing that no matter what anyone else thinks about you, the love you have for yourself overrides their judgement.
For me there was a period in my life where I did't like who I was and this period lasted for a long time. It started as a kid in around sixth grade. I was being made fun of for being African and for having big eyes. It may seem small now, but those kids greatly impacted how I looked at myself, my heritage and my appearance. For a little while, I could remember being embarrassed to be African and sadly I even denounced my African heritage. At one point in time, I remember telling people that I was Jamaican to avoid being made fun of. It wasn't until about my sophomore year of high school where I began to really embrace my heritage.
My confidence in myself however was a work in progress. Being constantly teased as an adolescent didn't help. During those times I felt ugly and unworthy because that's what some of the kids would tell me. I've been called most names, I've been threatened, and just hated upon at such a vulnerable time in life. A lot of things that I've experienced as a young girl would drive someone to hurt themselves. At times, I wanted to give up. What kept me going was my willingness to prove them wrong and this drove me to become the woman I am now.
Looking back, I now realize that those kids were broken. This goes back to self love, maybe if these kids loved themselves they would't have felt the need to attack me or any other child. In their defense, you don't understand much about love, life, and pain at that age. I can't blame them too much. I can only thank them for the pain in turn helping me experience the joy of love....self love.
You can't grow without pain!
I didn't fully begin to love myself until 2012 when I started my first blog. Starting my blog allowed me to see myself as worthy and capable of more. It was still a process to gain the self love that I have now. I went through a whirlwind of hurt but it's all made me a stronger woman. I still have some things to let go. Loving thyself takes a few steps, here is a general guide.
Steps To Take Towards Self Love:
The first step towards self love:
Realizing your flaws and embracing them.
The second step towards self love:
The third step towards self love:
Reflecting over your life and recognizing your mistakes in order to avoid repeating them.
The fourth step towards self love:
Taking the necessary steps towards healing, understanding who you are and understanding what love is.
Keep in mind that these steps will be different for everyone. For me, I spent a lot of time alone, I did a lot of praying, counseling, expressing myself to others, reading books, I did things that made me sad, I did things that made me happy, I pushed myself by hosting an event, and I traveled solo. All these things helped me overcome a lot of anxiety and fear. You must take time for yourself, to reflect. As women we are always depended on and in order to be present in this life, you can't be broken. Jada Pinkett Smith had a really good interview on this subject https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQK9Ufr4yrY see link to take a listen.
At his point in my life I realize that all the things that I've gone through has built me into this beautiful soul. I still have a lot to work to do such as losing the habit of people pleasing, being too critical of myself and of others, letting go of expecting a lot out of people, learning to say no without apologizing, learning to let people in, being fare to myself, and overcoming a few fears that I still hold onto. Once you recognize your flaws (I mean real flaws, flaws hidden deep inside). Once you recognize and accept these flaws, you can begin to work on them, and begin to love yourself.
With self acceptance comes self love!
Your outward appearance is another key point towards self love. You must be happy with how God made you. Granted there are small cosmetic fixes and ways to enhance your beauty, but you should never want to drastically change your features. I used to be insecure about wearing weave, mostly because I know men like real hair, but at this point who cares. A man who truly loves you will accept you for the queen that you are. Remember.....
Like the R&B group Next said: "In braids, weave, skirt or jeans you're still my queen."
It doesn't matter what you do to your hair or the clothes you wear, as long as you're confident in yourself and remain true to who you are. Those who truly love you, appreciate these qualities.
Short hair or long hair, it's all beautiful and it's all me. I love to experiment with different styles but that doesn't mean that I've lost myself. I know who I am and I love me!
Self love is the ability to truly live!
This post was a bit long winded but self love is not a small subject and it's truly important in becoming a person of value, strength, and a woman who is soul beautiful. Just remember that any pain you've gone through is shaping you and molding you into the woman whom God has called you to be. Simply embrace pain, love yourself, accept your flaws and stay true to what you believe in. Then and only then will you find Self Love.
Until next post, stay blessed :)