Self-love is trending more than ever, especially with Valentine’s coming up. Nonetheless, I believe it will never be overrated.
Because self-love is so much more than just face masks and bubble baths. It is the key to a happy and healthy life. It equips you with the healthy self-esteem to have a peaceful and strong mindset, to endure adversity, to know your worth and the people deserving of your presence, and the flexibility to be genuinely happy in your highs, and the strength to bounce back from your lows. Self-love allows us to be kinder and more compassionate to ourselves, and in turn, it teaches us to be kinder and more compassionate to others.
But a healthy self-love needs more than just looking in the mirror and saying “I deserve the best and I love myself.” If anything that is dangerous without the aide of self-awareness. A healthy self-love guided by self-awareness is looking in the mirror and saying “I’m not perfect, but I’m still learning and still deserving, and that’s okay.”
I think one is not more important than the other, but rather, they simply go hand-in-hand. If anything, I think the act of self-awareness is an act of self-love itself. I truly believe that self-love encompasses self-awareness, and in order to lead a healthy journey of self-love, the ability to look at yourself, the good and the bad, wholesomely is pivotal to the ability to love yourself. To love and accept everything you are, and are not yet but desire to be.
Self-Awareness is the courage to see your flaws and shortcomings and to hold yourself accountable for them. It is not allowing yourself to settle for “this is just the way I am” as an excuse to never change or be better. Because excusing yourself rather than being accountable for yourself, is the inability to say you’re sorry; the inability to understand that even as great as a person you are, you make mistakes too. Making mistakes is not a sin, but continuing to allow your bad habits to hurt the people you love is.
And the inability to self-reflect in order to say sorry, is also the inability to forgive.
If you can’t forgive others, you can’t forgive yourself either. Forgiveness—the acceptance and decision to let go of anger and resentment.
And if you can’t have forgiveness for yourself, you will not be able to face yourself without self-pity.
Self-pity enables you to play the victim. It allows you to think that you can’t do anything for yourself and that you will suffer unless you get what you want. It is the unwillingness to dig deep into yourself to take control of what you can change, and let go of what you can’t.
And that is why, self-love without self-awareness is just a toxic circle of entitlement, expecting everyone and everything to make you happy, but being disappointed because no one and nothing can. Because even you, yourself, are not taking charge of supplying your own happiness.
You are the controller of your life. You are the protagonist of your story. You are the gatekeeper of your happiness. Everyone and everything else is just a supplement.
Self-love is not a feminine thing; it does not discriminate among genders, it is not a sign of weakness. It is an essential decision and commitment you need to make everyday to live the best life you deserve.