What is Self-Love?

by Ines Makuza

I honestly never knew until a while ago. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never had issues with loving and accepting myself. If there was a self-love manual, I’m sure it’d be a best-seller we’d all snatch up. Recently I was walking around my house in a crop top and some comfy pants on a lazy day when my mom stopped me and jokingly asked why my stomach wasn’t covered and why my tiger stripes (stretch marks, if you didn’t catch that) were showing — and I shrugged her off. This was the moment I realized that I’ve attained some level of peace with who I am, knowing that I’ll never stop improving myself in every possible way. Every generation has been through this and has come out however they’ve allowed themselves to. I guess this is what self-love is.

And that’s where it starts; ignoring everybody else’s opinion except yours, because you always have to put yourself first. That means being aware that your life can’t be like everybody else’s, your personality can’t be like everybody else’s, nor can your opinions, thoughts or body.

Be aware of who you let into your life; your space. Humans can be easily impacted by opinions from others, which is why bullying is so easy to give in to. Therefore, don’t let people who judge you, push you down and who can’t uplift you, into your life. Know when to cut the cord.

Be mindful. Do you know what you want? Do you know your values and the kind of person you want to be? What energy or personality do you aim to project? Being mindful means you’re conscious, you are aware of yourself and your environment. If you don’t know how to pinpoint this, sit down one day and write it down, ask someone for help if you have to, do some research, look back at moments in your life and how you responded to them.

Apply self-care into your life to enrich and heal yourself spiritually, physically and mentally. Various ways to do that is meditating/yoga, religion, eating healthy and exercising, and being open to learning anything and everything. My favorite is unplugging every other month and detoxing from things like FOMO and other things that overwhelm me.

An important tip I learned online was to forgive myself. Don’t be so hard on yourself when you can’t achieve something or you make a mistake otherwise you drag yourself further down. Know that your mistakes don’t define you but at the same time, be able to hold yourself responsible for your faults. Celebrate your wins, uplift yourself by appreciating all your moments, and see your failures as motivation. Uplift the people in your life and push them to their own success as they have pushed you to yours.

Set the pace. When you throw yourself into to many things aiming to be something or someone then you overwhelm yourself by the speed of things and can burn out, and underwhelm yourself with the results. Figure out the point at which you want to start something, and go at whatever speed works for you; you don’t have to “be on their level”. Be on your own damn level!

Your thoughts don’t always control you. We all have an inner critic that that stops us from pushing forward. You may have moments of being hateful and incredibly negative which will weigh down on you. Learn to ignore it. That also means practice positive thoughts to produce a positive outcome on your emotions, and learn to let go of hate, it’s the most wasteful use of energy.

These may or may not work for some people, but that’s all up to you.

  • You’re aware that you need to work on yourself, that’s the first step.
  • By practicing self-care, you learn to love yourself and you gain self-confidence. This is a sign that you’re growing.

And those are my two cents.

I hope you live in love with You.


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