Reader, I finally love myself!
I’m not a psychologist, life coach or therapist but I’ve learned a few things about self-love, and I would love to share it with you.
Self-love is not a destination; self-love is a journey.
Like any journey, there are rough patches and awe-inspiring moments; my experience of self-love always alternates between the good days and the bad days. But I know that having both days is fine. Even on the longest bad day, when I loathe myself for torturing my self-confidence with overthinking, I know that it’s all going to be OK. I think that this knowing, this acceptance, is what makes the journey of self-love worthwhile. If you can reach the stage in your journey where you can accept not loving yourself but also realise that you will one day love yourself, you’re already half-way there.
If you’re waiting for a lightbulb moment where you love yourself at a flick of a switch, you’ll be waiting forever. Self-love is a constantly flickering lightbulb: but that’s okay, because when the light is on, and you feel infinitely wonderful there is nothing that shines brighter in that moment.
A moment of self-love can last for days, or months, or years. Everyone’s journey is different: we all react to our experience of life differently and we all have different lives to lead, so be patient with your journey and realise that you are the only one who can take this journey.
If you’ve read this far wondering why self-love is a journey and what self-love actually is, you’ll probably be able to tell that it means an awful lot to me. So, let me clarify what self-love means to me: I’m not thinking about a narcissistic, selfish love that centres the world around your needs and desires, that’s no self-love. I’m writing about a personal love that only you can know and feel, one that accepts you for who you are and for what you can be, a love that recognises your complexities and your confusing identity but still understands that you are loveable. My self-love is knowing that you are worthy of your own love as well as love from other people.
If you can have confidence in loving yourself then you can have confidence in loving and be loved by others. This doesn’t mean that you will find the love of your life as soon as the good days of your journey come: it just means that even when you are bereft of loved ones, you can believe in your love potential by loving yourself.
Self-love does not mean that you don’t need anyone else to love you, or that you have to be alone until you love yourself. Like any life journey, you can work at it in your daily life.
It is also so key to remember that self-love also goes hand-in-hand with self-acceptance, self-image and affects your self-esteem and confidence.
I hope you have many happy days ahead of you and I believe that you can learn to love yourself. Here’s to brighter days and self-love!