Falling in Love with yourself … A journey of self-love.
“I tend to be most interested in the kinds of people who do not sweeten or dilute themselves for the sake of people’s taste. Who never soften the blow of who they are. Like my coffee, I prefer the people I connect with to be full-strength and searing hot. Those able to rouse my weary, idle heart.”
Beau Taplin // Black Coffee
When we talk about self-love, we often think of hot baths, long walks and sweet treats. Although this is a form of self-love, this is not in my opinion the way to love yourself authentically. To love yourself is to look in the mirror for once without criticising your body, feeling content with where you are in life, putting yourself first and doing what makes you happy.
Self-love is challenging, lonely and not all roses and sunshine, we must really sit with ourselves to understand what our body and mind needs to thrive and prosper in life. You cannot look to anyone else to do the work for you, there isn’t a magic fairy or crystal you can call on to figure it out, although that would be nice! Everyone’s journey is different and takes hard work and dedication – to yourself.
I’ll be honest, I’m still learning to truly love myself even as I write this, its an ongoing process however 3 years ago I wouldn’t have even attempted this, but through both dark and light times – I have grown and learnt an abundant amount of lessons about myself and the world around me.
Here, I will try to explain as best I can, the most important lessons I learnt and how I’m still learning to embrace myself for who I am, as well as being open to change:
1) Acknowledgement / Self-awareness
For many of us we need to acknowledge, concur and keep in check our own toxic behaviours, these behaviours can be towards ourselves and sometimes without knowing, towards others. Acknowledgment comes from pinpointing what causes you anxiety or that uncomfortable feeling, what stays floating on your to do list because you just can’t find the motivation to tick it off, why are we procrastinating around things which with a little more attention or dedication could be ticked off quite easily. Think about these things with attention and honesty, what about the above can we not seem to shake to figure it out? Once you’ve acknowledged it, speak about it! Trying to suppress the feelings around these things can often cause a build-up and grow bigger than what it originally was.
Through Acknowledgement, we may discover beliefs about ourselves which aren’t necessarily true. My own experience with this is that my whole life I believed that confidence was something I was lacking and because I spent so many years telling myself this, my brain believed it! Once I acknowledged and challenged this, I learnt that just because you have believed something for a long time, it doesn’t necessarily make it true. We should always be learning, growing, and discovering new things about the world and ourselves, we can become the person we want to be by acknowledging what no longer fits & challenging the belief around it.
The hardest and in my opinion the most essential part of the process, if you can’t be disciplined enough to give yourself what you need, how can you say you love yourself fully? Simplified, we need to eat to survive, we need to drink to survive – so if I told you we needed to exercise, speak about our feelings, have a routine or be kind to others to survive, I’m pretty sure you would find the dedication to do it! It takes 21 days to create a habit, so if you are disciplined enough to create a change, stick at that change and uphold for 21 days – chances are it will become a habit and less and less challenging each time.
By setting yourself small achievable goals, holding yourself accountable to these and possibly sacrificing a little bit of comfort for long-term success, you will slowly but surely develop good habits which all contribute to being the person you want to be.
3) Be kind and true to yourself
We often beat ourselves up for not achieving a goal, being successful by a said age or being top of the class, we can go on forever when it comes to criticising ourselves. Try your hardest to set your own standards, stop living by the standard set by society, parents or peers – if the ultimate goal is happiness and the only person who can truly know what happiness feels for you, is you, then the only person who should be setting the standards and goals for yourself, you guessed it, IS YOU! Make sure you are making decisions based on your own feelings and opinions, know what is right for you, trust your gut and follow your heart. This way you can only hold yourself accountable and you’ll always know you made the best choices for yourself, based on yourself.
So with all the things above, along with many others I have found myself loving this version of me more and more each day. The past few years I have felt myself becoming healthier: physically, mentally and emotionally. It doesn’t happen overnight, and I can tell you that the journey to self-love is definitely a challenge, but it will be a challenge that is well worth it!