The term self love is being thrown around in the realm of social media and personal development an awful lot lately, but what does self love really mean?
Well, to me, self love is the act of being your own biggest fan. It is the ability to wholeheartedly and lovingly accept yourself for your positives and your negatives. It is the understanding of your own personal power, knowing that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. It is the desire to take your own personal power and use it for good, because you know you have an amazing mark to leave in this world.
If you’re reading this and think to yourself NOPE that don’t sound like me, then you are part of the millions of others in the world (including myself) that have been hit with what I call the ‘self-love crisis’. Before you say it, I know, self-love crisis sounds like a headline you would find on the front of a Sun newspaper, but I think it has gotten to a point where we can call it a crisis.
Lack of self love is not something that is innately built in us. Fresh out of the womb, we are not thinking that our nose is too big or our bodies are too chubby. The thing is, over the years we are exposed to many different things which may make us feel inadequate. This could be anything from unrealistic body images within the media; failing a test at school; getting rejected by the person we like; not living up to our parents expectations or things of a more serious manner such as physical/emotional abuse.
You will notice that if you look at any of your own insecurities, it will have stemmed from a significant memory (or several) which led you to believe that whatever it is you are insecure about is your truth. From these things, we manifest a self-fulfilling prophecy which becomes our ‘truth’ or are our ‘story’. For example, one memory I had as a child: I was about 6 years old and walking across the road to my friends house, an older teenage boy passed me and said to me “you’re pretty”, I immediately got all happy and flustered but then he ended the sentence with “pretty ugly”. That one, tiny, stupid comment led me to an insecurity throughout most of my childhood and through to later in life that I’m ugly. I’m sure there were other factors that contributed to that too and it seems completely ridiculous, but as children, we are like little sponges, taking in everything around us – the good and the bad.
If we are not equipped with the tools to deal with negativity from a young age and are not given the proper encouragement (as many of us aren’t), we will just go ahead and allow all of these small insecurities to become our truth and thus create a whirlwind of negative self belief.
The thing is, self love can easily be developed by creating healthy habits and taking control of our thoughts and behaviour. I feel like this crisis has led way to a vast amount of information available for people who are ready to stop looking outside and to truly love themselves. Which is actually something really positive!
I am going to be writing a series of blog posts on self love and what I am doing to achieve it, so please watch this space!