Janelle’s guest post: What It Really Means To Love Yourself
You can find the lovely Janelle Soong’s blog here. I highly recommend you going over and giving her blog a read- Janelle has a lot of cute and uplifting pieces!
Someone very wise once told me, “If you don’t know how to love yourself, how can you possibly claim to be capable of loving others?” I’ve thought long and hard about that one ever since. Usually when I’m lying in bed with my eyes wide open, like the insomniac that I am. But they were right. What is self love and do we really know how to do it?
Have you seen those inspiring quotes on Pinterest and Instagram, with curly font and warm-toned pictures of happy people? Yeah, I’ve seen them too. They’re like the plague, honestly. I can’t disagree that “Positivity is a choice and I choose to be positive”, but sometimes, choosing to be “positive” rather than dealing with the situation at hand can turn into a habit of denial. It can also mean that we’re suppressing our negative feelings, and we all know that bottling emotions up only augments them, so in a nutshell – we’re nowhere close to actually moving forwards. How’s that for self love?
Here’s what self-love means to me – being at peace with myself with all my flaws that come with the package deal. Loving myself because of those flaws, rather than despite them. Knowing that truly cherishing myself and my lifetime may not be the equivalent of the way others say I should be doing it. I like logic puzzles, and logic tells me that I should learn to love myself the way I would want someone to love me. I don’t want to be put on a pedestal, or loved because the person loves the idea of me. I want to be flooded with cuddles in full knowledge that I re-watch my favourite films obsessively and hate making my bed in the mornings. I also want to be mentored and inspired by someone who knows how to be brutally honest not to tear me down, but in order to help me get better at this thing called life. And that’s exactly how I’m going to love myself.
So, the next time you see those cucumber masks and spa candles – don’t scoff at the whole self-love marketing theme that typically shrouds these products. If learning more about skincare and developing a healthy work-play balance are on your list of goals, make the splash. If you are saving up for a house or your first car, save the money without feeling bad about it. We don’t have time for “what ifs” – always easier said than done, but just do it. If you don’t jump into the water, you’ll never learn to swim. Or find out how lovely the water feels on a hot sunny day. Pursue those goals with everything you have. You’re not making sacrifices – you’re investing in yourself.
Last but certainly not least, I believe that self-love isn’t a magical place at the end of a rainbow, it’s a habit that we won’t develop unless we practise it every day. A little like biting my nails.
Are you struggling with self-care? Consider checking out this blog post I wrote about some simple self-care tasks you can do if you’re feeling down.