What is self-love, and how do you measure it?
Speaking from my own experience, I know that self-love needs to be cultivated regularly. Because when you don’t see your image in Disney movies, Barbie dolls, or magazines growing up, you are forced to get creative and find inspiration within yourself.
And this is the same thing with love; whether you are partnered up or not, self-love always needs to be in the picture.
So without further ado, here are some ways I “love myself” on a regular basis. Because I believe actions always speak louder than words…
My 7 Rules For Self-Love
1) I accept all of my feelings
And this goes for all of my messy emotions! The good, the bad, and the ugly. Because I believe that if I deny my right to feel as a human being, then I have essentially denied the right to my humanity. And if we are willing to show up for those around us, then why shouldn’t we be able to readily show up for ourselves?
2) I take my sweet time
There is nothing worse than hanging yourself out to dry and spreading yourself too thin. And, this is what we do to ourselves when we rush through the things that matter most. When it comes to my time, I take it, I value it, and cherish it like there’s no tomorrow.
For me, self-love looks as simple as taking as much time as I need to enjoy a hot shower. It looks like giving myself a daily facial massage, stretching once a day, and actually sitting down to enjoy my meals (distraction-free).
And make no mistake, you have to prioritize the time to do these things…
3) I say “no” quite often
Loving yourself takes time, and you will inevitably need to say “no” to things that no longer serve that purpose. When I wanted to progress my personal wellness journey, I had to say no to things like late-night partying because that was not going to get me to my ultimate goal.
And most of us know these things, but too often, we defy our inner wants and needs to fulfill outside requests in fear of FOMO or in an effort to appear less “selfish.” I have learned that this act only hurts one person, and oftentimes it’s my own self.
Today, I am all about setting firm boundaries and respecting my core values, and oftentimes this looks like simply saying “no”.
4) I actively seek out the good in life
Like all other rules I have mentioned, this is an ongoing practice.
I am constantly vetting out what comes into my personal sphere. And this applies to people in real life, television shows, and, yes, my social media feed.
I believe that our mental diets are extremely important. And if you’re like me and like to feel happy and confident, then engaging with positive content is a sure way to support your personal journey into self-love.
Just like a diet, you cannot ingest negativity and expect to have a positive life.
5) I avoid negative self-talk
A positive life cannot be “manifested” if you’re engaging in negative self-talk, because negative self-talk hurts no one else but yourself. And in a world of self-deprecating memes and TikTok videos, it seems like self-deprecation is becoming more of a trend these days.
Remember: There is nothing wrong with actually believing in yourself. No, it is not being “full of yourself”, it is simply exercising healthy confidence.
6) I am patient with myself
We are on this planet for far too short of a time to beat ourselves up every day. And the reality is, self-love isn’t something you’re born with, it is a trait you cultivate. For me, this looks like constantly affirming my values and reminding myself of who I am and what I love about myself and my character. Over time, I have learned to forgive myself gracefully and believe in myself and my dreams.
7) I allow myself to dream
Last but not least, I allow myself to dream… and dream often!
Dr. Martin Luther King showed us the power of dreams. And I believe that if I can no longer dream, then I’ve truly been robbed of my spirit.
Oftentimes, we are actually discouraged from dreaming, by wary family members or insecure friends. Therefore, choosing to dream and dream big for yourself is an act of self-love and defiance against your deepest insecurities.
“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” – Lupita Nyong’o
And with that, I hope you have a love-filled Valentine’s day weekend!
I will leave you with this iconic black and white photo of James Dean and Eartha Kitt at a dance class because it is #dreamy.
Stay organically opulent,