Writing about love is not easy, love being such a personal experience. Now writing about self-love takes it to another level, for me anyway. To this day, I still find it painful to look back on all the years where I systematically tormented myself for not being worthy of love, any love.
I’ve been on my self-love journey for a few years now but I still vividly remember how I used to feel; how I used to speak to myself. Words like “not good enough”, “disgusting”, “stupid”, “fat”, “ugly”, “failure”, “pathetic”, or “weak” seemed to effortlessly weave their way into my innermost thoughts. A part of me thought that being harsh with myself would help me become a better person. I thought it would make me loveable and boy was I hungry for love. But trust me, you can’t bully yourself into self-love.
So how do you start a self-love journey? To me, it was a combination of a few things but the three that had the biggest impact and that I would invite you, urge you, to embrace are the following:
1. Forgive yourself
You can’t truly move on or start a new healthy relationship, be it with yourself or another human being, without forgiving yourself. For what you might ask? For being unsupportive…for being hurtful even when you felt vulnerable…for being unfair…for being a human being who makes mistakes…Take your pick. Forgiving and let go, you deserve to be happy.
2. Speak to yourself kindly
Make it a habit to systematically call yourself out when negative thoughts start to surface. Remind yourself that they are more of a bad habit you picked up as opposed to an actual reflection of your reality. Interrupt them whenever you become aware of them and redirect your attention to things that make you feel good.
3. Honour your needs
It may seem like common sense but making sure that you cater to your own needs is paramount to loving yourself. Listen to your body. Slow down. Ask for help when you need it. Do what makes you feel good. Make your self-care non-negotiable. Trust me, the more you cater to you, the more you have to give to everyone around you.