Getting to know yourself, and loving yourself, can be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, experiences. After all, you’re stuck with yourself for a lifetime, might as well enjoy the ride.
Self-love might sound like a buzzword nowadays, something which only belongs on social media, ideally with a picture of us taken next to the sea. But what is the true meaning of loving yourself? To love yourself means to respect and accept yourself, be it the good, the bad, or the ugly. To truly love yourself, you need to embrace every piece of you, and every experience you’ve ever had. This doesn’t mean that your experiences must always be seen through this positive lens, but rather, recognise that every experience made you who you are.
Apart from reflecting on your experiences, another way of loving yourself is by placing yourself at the top of your priority list. Does this make you selfish and self-obsessed? Not at all. Care for yourself as you would your best friend. In fact, think about who you surround yourself with? Are these people who are supporting you to be the best version of yourself, or are they more critical, and holding you back? If it’s more the latter, then maybe it’s time to set some boundaries and reorganise your priorities.
Another way to be self-loving is to be kind and understanding towards yourself. This doesn’t mean that you’re the best person in this Universe, but it means you forgive yourself for your mistakes, and you make the active decision to learn from those mistakes. It also involves being more understanding when it comes to things you view as flaws in yourself. When negative thoughts come up, try to talk to yourself as you would a loved one; be gentle, caring and forgiving with your inner dialogue.