In much of my blog posts, I share with you all the importance of self-love, but for many of us, if we're honest with ourselves, we don't know what self-love (healthy self-love) should be. We don't know what that encompasses. Therefore, we can't figure out how we should actively engage in self-love daily.
In the current social climate, self-love has become commercialized, meaning we see people pampering themselves to exercise self-care, so we tend to assume that is all that self-love encompasses. However, I am here to tell you that is a false ideology. Self-love is more than spa days, manicures, and massages. It's more than a girl's day or eating a good meal. Self-love is a process, and it takes work, active engagement, and intention.
Therefore, to assist with understanding the true nature and meaning of self-love, I have composed a post where I share and explain the components of self-love, why each is important and how each manifests in the way we engage in self-love and relate to others.
HERE ARE 5 KEY COMPONENTS OF SELF-LOVE...
Very few people understand how knowing yourself contributes to self-love, but it is one of the most critical pieces. To completely love and be lovable, we must be aware of our deficits, insecurities, gifts, triggers, and trauma. Each of these contributes to who we are. Each of these contributes to how we view ourselves, the world, and others. Identifying and accepting our deficits, insecurities, gifts, triggers, and trauma make loving ourselves and accepting ourselves that much easier.
Acceptance, of course, is something that I speak on a lot, and that's because I find that so few of us understand how self-acceptance (or the lack thereof) manifests itself in our day-to-day lives relationships with others. And I will even go as far as to say that you can't healthily pursue a romantic relationship because you are not ready if you lack self-acceptance.
To accept ourselves, we must first be self-aware (as previously defined). Acceptance is a natural process but often met with much resistance because we live in a world that encourages us to look better, feel better, do, and be better. Or, quite frankly, we allow the world to enable us to want to be different. But either way, if you are unable to understand the difference between being better and being different, you will find yourself in a continual state of change, in which you can't accept yourself because you're constantly seeking to be and or look differently.
Self-acceptance is something that we all must honestly actively pursue. It's a period in which we have evolved enough to be aware of our flaws and deficits, and can look at ourselves in the mirror, despite what we see, (and our struggle with being better), and acknowledge that we are still a work in progress and accept where we are and what we are capable of.
I gather that many of you would hate for me to define self-esteem, but I have to. I think you must understand that embracing your image is just one view of the term. I believe it is vital that we know that one's self-esteem defines a personal (subjective) opinion of oneself. It encompasses what you see, how you feel, and its value in the composition of these.
The key in this component, and all of the others in this post, is the word "self," which means that neither your friends, parents, social followers, etc., should have a bearing on how you view, feel and value yourself. Self-esteem is a critical factor in self-love because it helps us identify, embrace and appreciate what we see, feel and think when we see ourselves. There are no comparisons in self-esteem. And there should be no comparisons in self-love.
We rarely see people speak about self-respect in relationship to self-love, but it's just as important as all self-love components. Respecting one's self embodies self-control and boundaries that we may not otherwise exercise. However, the mere fact that we are able, willing, and actively maintaining boundaries and exercising self-control speaks to the level of respect that we have for ourselves.
Comparison should not be exercised just for the sake of helping others feel better about themselves, as it is just as important to be compassionate to ourselves. Why? Well, it's because we all know that we can sometimes make rash decisions, speak out of turn, anger, or hurt, but it's up to us to check ourselves and identify our motives. And whether or not we discover our reasons were ill or not, the mere fact that we were able to identify the difference and be honest with ourselves, either way, means that we deserve to grant ourselves compassion.
We are not perfect people. We can spend a lifetime searching for perfection and never achieve it, but it's because of this we understand that we need to grant ourselves permission to make a mistake. And as we anticipate the judgement of others and or not having our thoughts or opinions received well by others, we must understand that if no one else chooses to forgive us, at the very least we should express compassion to ourselves. To essentially free ourselves from self-antagonism and overthinking, which allows us to grant ourselves grace and reinforce the need for improvement.
Most often, self-love occurs in moments of solidarity. No one on this earth is perfect, so we all must get to know ourselves and love ourselves so that we can adequately articulate to others how to do the same. You are who you are; you are not the extent of someone else assumptions or expectations. Thus, we must be encouraged to be who we are, but also put the work into becoming the person we want to be. If not, we allow the contradiction between what is and how we appear, to consume us. And we will lose the fight between perception and reality. Subsequently, negatively impacting our mental and emotional stability because of the inability to make sense of who we are and what we appear to be.
True happiness and peace come with accepting things we can not change in others and knowing, acknowledging, and addressing the flaws that keep us from being the best version of ourselves. But throughout this entire process, self-love should never waver.