What Does It Mean To Love Yourself?
“How to love yourself is how you teach others to love you” – Rupi Kaur
Self-love has gradually grown to be a movement. As our society and culture become more enthralled with the concept of self-love, the idea of fully accepting and loving oneself has become increasingly important.
Self-love is self-awareness, being positive, accepting your flaws, harnessing your strength, knowing your worth, and doing away with negative energy. Psychological research has shown that self-love and compassion are essential for mental health and well-being, preventing depression and anxiety.
Before practicing self-love, we first need to understand what it entails.
- Self-love is a feeling of admiration for oneself that stems from behaviors that help us grow physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
- Self-love implies having great regard for one’s happiness and well-being.
- Self-love entails attending to your needs rather than putting others’ needs ahead of yours.
- Self-love means refusing to accept anything less than what you deserve.
Self-love is controlled by the belief about yourself (self-based self-esteem) and thoughts about how other people regard you (other-based self-esteem). You must strengthen your beliefs about yourself regardless of what others think of you. Only then can you truly love yourself!
Be mindful that self-love does not imply arrogance or a futile ego. Instead, it means being authentic and compassionate to yourself. Here are some guidelines on how to improve self-esteem and love yourself:
No two persons are the same. It is our individualistic nature that makes us unique. Imagine a world filled with the same faces, body types, skin colors, etc. How ordinary it will be. Our diversity is what adds spice to life. Instead of comparing yourself to others, start embracing your differences and uniqueness. You are the only version of yourself.
To Make Mistakes is to be Human
Do you beat yourself up every time you make a mistake? Do people around you spite you? Do they make you feel less of a person when you do something wrong? That is the opposite of you loving yourself. Know that mistakes happen so we can learn valuable life lessons. Don’t bask in your error, don’t let anyone beat you up. No one is perfect.
Self-love Implies Self-care
It is a fact that self-love pushes you to make healthy life choices. When you have a reasonable opinion of yourself, you are more likely to choose things that will benefit your well-being and serve you well. These things could include eating well, exercising, or having healthy relationships. Pay attention to your body.
Take breaks from work to stretch and move. Put down the phone, interact with yourself or others, or do something creative. Eat healthy, yet occasionally indulge in your favorite meals. We frequently need to return to the basics to practice caring for ourselves.
Your Looks Do Not Define You
Accepting yourself as you are in this moment for everything that you are is also self-love. It entails embracing your feelings, ideas, experiences, and of course, your looks. You are a composition of all these. Therefore, one aspect does not define you. Learn to appreciate your wholesome self as you are. Prioritize your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Like every other type of love, you must practice self-love to develop it. Now we know how to practice self-love, we may also ask, why? It is because we deserve to be loved wholly. No one can love you more than you love yourself. As stated earlier, self-love shows people how to love you by loving yourself. Here is how it will play out for you when you love yourself.
- When you learn to believe in yourself, you teach others to trust and have faith in you.
- When you create healthy boundaries, you let others know and respect your limits and capabilities.
- When you define your values, you announce your morals and your expectations of others.
- When you become honest with yourself, you teach others to be honest with themselves.
- When you treat yourself fairly, you teach others to be fair and just.
- When you give yourself a breather from self-judgment, you show others that patience and positivity belong in your world.
- When you learn to forgive yourself, you show others you can be gracious to them.
- When you become self-aware, you let others know you are in control.
- When you make better-informed choices, you teach others that you are logical, rational, and trustworthy.
As the saying goes, you can only give what you have. If you have a lot of love, then you can give love. If you have a lot of hatred, then you will give hatred. If you have forgiveness, then you can provide others with forgiveness. What do you want to give to others? Inspire yourself and others around you with these Self-Love Quotes:
- “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” – Brené Brown
- “You deserve someone who makes you feel like the otherworldly creature you are. Yourself.” – Amanda Lovelace
- “I just wanted to remind you, in case you needed to hear it, to be kind and loving to yourself, and talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend.” – Camila Cabello
- “Make peace with your broken pieces.” – r.h. Sin
- “No other love, no matter how genuine it is, can fulfill one’s heart better than unconditional self-love.” – Edmond Mbiaka
As you practice and promote self-love, your aura becomes contagious. Everyone who comes in contact with you also becomes self-loving. What you encourage and model to others will spread. The good seed of love will raise positive energy around you. Loving yourself is not far-fetched.
Take a deep breath and give yourself a warm hug. Follow these little steps daily, and you will love yourself little by little.
- Start each day by telling yourself something positive. How well you handled a situation, how lovely you look today. Anything that will make you smile.
- Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes and makes it thrive.
- Move that gorgeous body of yours every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can not hate your way into loving yourself.
- Don’t believe everything you think. There is an inner critic inside us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is this also stops us from living a fulfilling life.
- Finally, surround yourself with people who love and encourage you. Let them remind you just how amazing you are.
Self Love is loving yourself unapologetically every day. You continually take care of others, so you should not feel bad about taking time for yourself now and again. Besides, why shouldn’t you love yourself? After all, you only have one choice: to be yourself. You might as well love yourself.
TROORA MAGAZINE | JUNE 2023
WRITTEN BY GEORGE DIKE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF HASSAN OUAJBIR | ANNIE SPRATT | JARED RICE