What does self-love mean to you?
This prompt couldn’t have come at a better time!
Self-love, to me, isn’t just loving the way you look or the personality that you have. Self-love is being grateful for the challenges and accomplishments that are in your path. It’s not thinking negative, self-defeating thoughts about yourself and listening to what your body is telling you (i.e. whether to slow down or take a day to rest). It is respecting yourself enough to know when someone is toxic and cut them out. It’s taking care of yourself with healthy eating habits, regular check ups, and a non-sedentary lifestyle. It’s doing things that make you feel better about yourself like a good skin care routine, a mani/pedi, baking treats just for the hell of it, etc. Self-love is being in tune with your emotions and being able to recognize the triggers that set off negative emotions like anger, irritability, frustration, sadness, depression, etc. It’s knowing that you aren’t alone if you’re struggling with something and knowing that it is okay to ask for help from a friend or professional. It’s feeding your spiritual self, whether you’re religious and go to church or if you just meditate a couple of times per week – make time for spirituality. It’s forgiving – all humans make mistakes and someone’s negative actions doesn’t speak about yourself, it only speaks about them. Forgiving does not mean forgetting; this is something I’ve been struggling with for years after an abusive relationship in which my life wanted to be taken from me. Realize that humans are not perfect and every single human being has weaknesses as well as strengths; you just might not see them regularly. Self-love is knowing how and when to be/show selfless[ness]; giving is better for the soul rather than taking. Giving does not mean expecting something back, whether at the time of giving or in the future as a “debt”. Expecting something in return after you’ve given will only negatively effect your attitude and thoughts, so don’t expect anything in return. Self-love is following your dreams and goals, even if family members expect you to follow their life plan for you. We often forget how to love ourselves. In times of stress and hardship, it’s hard to think of anything positive. Just breathing and taking one step at a time is self-love, even if that’s all you’re able to give yourself right now.
This prompt was actually kind of eye opening to me. I didn’t realize how many things I forget to do for the sake of myself. I focus on others and their needs, usually forgetting my own. Remember: I don’t live for someone else (whose needs & wants that I am focusing on); I live for myself and my life.