“Self love” is a popular term nowadays, but that doesn’t mean it’s just another passing trend. Many people disregard it as simply taking bubble baths and posting selfies with cliché quotes, but true self love is so much deeper and life changing than that. More than just a reason to pamper yourself and do what you enjoy, self love is a caring relationship with yourself that lays the foundation for a more enriched and fulfilling life.
Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” You know your ins and outs, fears and dreams, and those innermost, unspoken thoughts. Being so aware of all your weaknesses, mistakes, and insecurities can sometimes lead to self doubt. With self love, though, you can be your own comfort and encouragement when you need it most.
Self love is about making peace with who you’ve been, who you are now, and who you want to be. It’s about taking the time to actively and honestly think about your life and work through any struggles or mental barriers. It’s about motivating yourself and maintaining healthy habits, yet also being patient and understanding when you’re not at your best. Self love is a balancing act—and the more balanced you are, the happier with life you become.
You may not be able to control what happens to you, but you do have control over more than you may realize. No matter what happens, you are the one who chooses how to react to and learn from it. You can pick which thoughts hold more weight. You choose which ideas to focus on and grow, who you want to be, what you want to do, etc. Your ability to think constructively and be mindful of your perspective is the most powerful tool you have in taking care of yourself.
So why is self love so important? I can imagine it may sound like a lot of work. However, like with most things you work at, it comes more naturally to you over time, and the benefits are endless. Below are just a few of the ways self love can change your life for the better.
You’ll have more peace/energy and less stress/exhaustion.
When you focus on loving yourself regularly, you create an environment of peace in your immediate world. It’s a struggle to be around someone who is critical of you all the time, especially if that person is you. The stress of that internal battle takes a lot more energy from us than we realize. Once you’re not wasting all that energy on criticizing or fighting with yourself, you have more energy for better decisions, fuller interactions, and more involvement with the things you love.
You can check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Practicing self love helps you become more tuned in to the many sides of your personality. Sometimes these sides clash and leave you feeling torn with a decision, such as taking a risk or playing it safe. However, these different personalty traits help you see other perspectives. With the honesty that self love brings to your inner thought processes, you’re able to think fully through your options in a truthful manner. It’s like you’re both the angel and the devil on your shoulders, giving compelling arguments for both sides. It’s a perfect illustration of self-talk and the power of thinking through what you truly need.
You’ll make decisions that you feel good about.
When you have a stronger relationship with yourself, you’re more likely to have a better sense of who you want to be. One of my favorite things to ask myself is, “What would my best self do?” similar to What Would Jesus Do. Although Jesus is a great compass for moral decisions, I’m not as sure what his decision would be about, say, eating a donut instead of oatmeal. I do, however, know what the best version of myself would do. Getting to know and love yourself better helps you see your life’s bigger picture and make decisions that align with it.
You’ll be better at giving yourself constructive criticism & encouragement .
Loving yourself helps with the times you make bad decisions too. When we make a mistake or realize we made the wrong decision, our typical first reaction is to beat ourselves up. It’s natural to have this instinctive reaction to prevent it from happening again—but it doesn’t need to last more than necessary. The negativity from criticizing yourself over and over is counterproductive. It depletes you of your sense of self worth and does nothing towards improving the situation. By talking through your criticism constructively with yourself, you can learn from your mistakes and provide encouragement. It gets you moving forward so much healthier and faster than if you dwelled on it.
You’ll FEEL More fulfilled because you’ll be more aware of what you want/need.
This is the part of self-love we see and hear the most about. Take that bubble bath, drink that wine, read that book—whatever it is that makes you happy, make time for it. Time doesn’t magically appear for you, either—you have to make the time. This may mean waking up earlier or saying no to certain invitations. It’s about making your happiness a priority. When you prioritize doing what you love on a regular basis, every routine day can be a bit more special. It gives you more excitement and reason to wake up each morning.
If you want to dive deeper into your relationship with yourself, my first piece of advice would be to start journaling or talking through your thoughts. It’s eye opening to see your thoughts on a page or hear them out loud. We often don’t realize how destructive our thoughts are, because we’re so busy and caught up in distractions. We can break that cycle. Self love is not selfish. Self love is survival.
Is self love something you’d like to read more about? And if so, what kinds of questions or thoughts do you have? Let me know in the comments or by contacting me! I would absolutely love to hear from you.