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Self Love What the F is it?!

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

Self Love two words that seems to be blowing around the world more and more. We see it flash up on our socials, we see companies using it for their marketing campaigns, we hear friends talk about it openly. Some have been practicing this for years (written history dates back to BC) maybe since birth, others see it as a hippy concept, others as soon as they see it mentioned or hear it uttered, they hit the X at the top of the screen, unfollow or roll their eyes and zone out.

What is it? what are these people getting in too? is it a cult? are they so far up there own arse they can't see the wood from the trees? Are these individuals who just love themselves and spend all day staring at the mirror blowing themselves the pout kiss or is this just selfish people using the "self love" concept as an excuse for their behaviour?

Let me help you out here. I understand the above conclusions completely it does sound pretty strange and each time I say self love I hear and see the image of a 70s icon giving the peace sign.

There was a turning point in my life where these words seem to click. Before then I had people say to me you're too hard on yourself, you need to do some serious self love, start making yourself the priority, give yourself some space and time. Like most I would roll my eyes, at that time I was so consumed with what was going on in my life I would nod my head say "yes your right" and then carry on the same as before doing nothing about any of it.

These people were not wrong, I am very hard on myself, I always think I can do better, like I wasn't enough (or I should say I used too think this) Im a natural provider, a nurturer so to me its normal to care for others and I always put myself at the bottom of that list. The people close to me are important, like they are for most of us and before I consider my own needs I seemed to always put them first.

The reason why I didnt listen when being told I needed to play the self love card was because I needed a shock, an opening for this card to play its role.

This opening happened around 3 years ago. I stood looking at myself in the mirror and I had no idea who I was. That may sound a bit like "you ok hun" id given so much for so long that I had become lost. Imagine not knowing what you wanted or more importantly needed? I knew the essentials that I needed to physically exist but I seemed to let the rest of me be consumed by others needs meaning the love and gratitude I got came from others not from myself so when that wasn't present I felt unloved.

I took a vow to myself January 2019 to dedicate a year to me, everything was going to be about me, for me. Yes time to become more selfish and oh trust me as I did this the selfish word got thrown at me over and over. I planned things for me, I did what I wanted when I wanted too and the biggest word I started using was NO!!!

Some of us don't realise that word exists or we don't use it that often and others don't know humbly how to accept it? The word No isn't a British word used enough, we say Yes Yes Yes to everything then moan and complain after. I said No more times then I had ever said it before. Example, In the past I got invited to things that I had gone too and ill admit I would go for the people there, not so much for me and when I came away I felt depleted this was no reflection on what I was doing or the people at all but I realised this was no good for ME. Yes me. Time to say No a little more.

I started to understand and learn very quickly how I had been doing a lot of damage to my own well being by always being the yes girl. This is why the selfish word got thrown at me so much. Imagine being the person who always said yes, im all up for helping others etc but id taken it beyond that so when I said no It was a shock to the people around me.

The self love journey didnt end in 2019, some may say I had taken it to far but once I started seeing the significant changes this was having on myself and also others around me, it really opened my eyes up. I thought why stop now lets keep exploring.

Its not always an easy path it can be hard as you start to realise things about yourself which can be a bit ugly, cringing or concerning. But if you can make the slightest change its worth the reality check.

I think ive always looked for love external to me and yes thats important but ive realised not as important as the love I have for myself. I didnt love myself at all I loved everyone else and was more concerned how I made them feel not me. I looked for validation and reassurance outside of myself. I wanted others to fill up my self love for me. Here is the thing if you have a half empty cup and someone came along and filled it for you, what happens if that person decided they wanted to drink their half? Your still half empty right. How about you fill that half of the cup up yourself..... then when someone comes along and pours more in your just spilling over the edge and enjoying it together!

I suppose the question is how do you start self love.....

Its different for us all as we need to see the areas of our life that need the love the most. It's a massive emotional growth, a healing for yourself, a dedicated life lesson. And yes you need to become dedicated.... to you!

Self love is a wide and vast open world it can boil down to how you think and feel towards yourself, to having a bubble bath with a glass of wine or buying yourself that new t-shirt you want.

My self love path started with doing things ive wanted to do I booked the trips, I quit my 9-5 job, I chased a dream, I felt everything joy, happiness, sadness to its max. But oh my this was just the start, a little drop in a massive ocean. It got tougher before it became easier, I questioned if I was actually just selfish and the old me maybe was the better version.

We do need to look back some times in life to move forward but forward is the only direction we can go.... So onwards I travelled.

Here are some (only some there are lots) lessons I learnt:

Stop comparing yourself to others and definitely don't worry about other peoples opinions - Socially we are competitive so this is only natural. But there is only one of you, focus on your journey as its unique to yourself.I look up to a lot of people and my support bubbles opinions are important to me. But the long and short the only opinion that matters to me is my own.

Let go of Toxic people and situations - Non of us like to think this but the energy from others affects us and if its toxic, negative then we feel this as well. If someone close to you is sad you feel sad. Same for toxic vibes. I don't really like that word much (toxic) but truth is not everyone is your cup of tea, not everyone has your best interest at heart as we are all a little selfish. It may be painful but if someone can't own responsibility for what they bring to your table - walk away. Its not a crime to protect yourself. If it doesn't serve you or a purpose for your best interest - time to say goodbye.

Feel the fear and do it anyway - Take every opportunity life presents or create your own - FEAR - False, Evidence, Appearing, Real. Ok so when I say "every" I mean consider it ie don't write anything off, weigh up the pros and cons for you no one else. Don't let others hold you back. That moment may never come again.What is the worse that can happen - a good question is "will I die tho" no - well thats the worse soooo!

See the beauty in life - yes its that simple, a sunset, a warm cup of coffee, a conversation with a friend, new bed sheets. I can walk down the street see a dog in a cute coat and it makes me smile, we can find beauty in a lot of places embrace it. It helps you find your joy and smiling releases endorphins.

Essentially put yourself first - Give yourself your you time, treat yourself. Of course its hard if you have a family and responsibilities but you also have a responsibility to yourself. How can you give the best version of you to anyone if your not taking care of yourself. Its not always actions or emotions that self love applies too. Buy that thing, spent time to read that book, listen to music, dance alone, go for that walk/run, start a journal, take yourself out on a date, express yourself, do things that you enjoy (yes you). And smile when you're doing it remember endorphins.

Now don't get me wrong its not that I don't want someone to share life with. Sharing is one of the most joyful things we can do. But I don't believe another person makes us whole or one. I want to celebrate life with another to experience it. Its my life experience and sharing it with others is a great honour and vice versa theirs with me. I have shared some great moment with friends and family the memory bank is filling up (and so is my camera roll) I am one hell of a lucky girl to have so many supportive friends and family around me who do show me a whole lot of love (what a great song ha)

Ive done more things alone this last year then I have ever done before this was an essential part of my self love path. I have made more things happen in my life, I took the time out for me. Its been the most freeing thing ive ever done in my life.

If you have decided this is a path you want to begin, brace yourself, it will be hard, it will have many bumps but it will be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.

Happy Self Love Day.

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