The Importance of Self Love

Art by Lily Razick

Art by Lily Razick

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered what was wrong with you? Maybe you’ve felt inadequate at parties or in a group of friends?
Maybe you just don’t feel good. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a solution? Welcome to your journey towards self love, baby.
Self love is so important. Once you can wholeheartedly heart yourself, life becomes so much easier in literally every aspect. I’m not saying that self love will solve all your problems. I’m just saying it will all get a little bit easier.
Once you accept yourself, you can really accept life and others and just everything. As RuPaul so profoundly states in his show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” I’ll amen to that.
Here are my personal steps to self love. Whether you follow or relate is up to you.
1. Acknowledgement Yourself
It’s very important to notice where you are mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. What have you gone through to get here? Maybe a lot of hardships and pressure existed in your past, maybe not so much. No matter what, it’s important to recognize that the past really is just a story, as is the future. Nothing exists except for the now. This second is what is, and is what matters.
Now that might sound like a lot of hippie-banter, which is totally fine. The point of it is to give some perspective to the present and who you are. It’s important to acknowledge this moment, and how you’re feeling right now. Part of this step is being honest with yourself. You don’t have to shout your emotions from the rooftops, but it’s important not to lie to yourself about how you’re doing.
3. Grounding
Know where your roots are, where you feel centered. Don’t float away. Maybe you feel grounded when you’re running as fast as you can. Maybe it’s when you’re with a parent, friend, or lover who you can easily relate to. Maybe you meditate or use breathing techniques to feel like you’re in control of your thoughts. Maybe you don’t yet know what your best method of getting grounded is, and that’s okay. Just be aware and hopefully a great way of grounding yourself will come to you. What you think about, you bring about (this is called The Law of Attraction). It’s that intuition with The Law of Attraction that will help you gain a control, or at least higher understanding to your thoughts and emotions, not letting them get the best of you before examining the whole picture.
4. Respect
Self-respect is not only a component on the path to self love, but also to getting what you want. Eventually you should get to a place, or even just one aspect of your life where you can say “Wow, I’m really here. I’ve worked really hard to be in the place that I am in today—mentally, physically, or emotionally. I respect that work and I am happy with this new chapter of my life that is unfolding because of the effort I’ve put in”.
I know for a fact that many of my peers (myself included) went through what felt like hell in middle school. I didn’t make choices that were optimal for my mental health or well-being, and it put me into a really dark place for a long time. I felt like I couldn’t speak out to what I was going through, it was only later that I realized I wasn’t the only one. I’m so happy and so grateful that I’ve learned to love myself and where I am now. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still deal with some of the same issues from middle school, but I acknowledge and respect how far I have come. I love the person I am today and without the hardships that I experienced in the past, who knows where I’d be.
5. Acceptance
Acceptance is a huge step towards self love. To accept is to be at ease and at peace with who you are. It may come in the form of being comfortable, like wearing less makeup or layers of clothing to hide yourself. It may come in the form of just being conscious when a dangerous comparison arises in your mind. For example, sometimes I compare myself to Kanye West. This comparison doesn’t add up for a lot of reasons, but ultimately because we are completely different beings and beautiful in different ways. If I were in a state of mind where I felt I needed to be closer to Kanye’s likeness or finesse, that comparison would be dangerous because I am not Kanye and I do not have time for that. Acceptance can sometimes just be a couple deep breaths and a reminder that you’re exactly where you need to be in life. There is no supposed to, the only thing that is- is what is.
6. Love
I can’t give you full instructions on how to love yourself, because it’s an individual and personal journey. All I can say is that I’m sure that you’re capable of love and of loving yourself. Love yourself and be there for yourself. Love is the highest power and ultimately you are the only person who can have that power over yourself. Be powerful, be godly, be iconic.
I have so much love and respect for myself. I can care, treasure, and love me. I love my wisdom and I love my mind, as dark as it can get. I have the most power over me and my heart. It can be a struggle to maintain at times, but I am here for myself, listening and taking action when necessary. What helps me stay positive and excited for life is the process of self-expansion and awareness. I love getting to know myself and finding things that bring me joy, which is honestly a whole lot more important to me than school work (though sometimes closely correlated, ex. college bringing more flexibility and opportunities for my future). Be your own guardian angel, fairy godmother (/father/any other non-binary entity), or whatever. Be your first priority. IT IS NOT SELFISH, IT IS IMPORTANT (THIS IS IN CAPS SO THAT YOU’LL HAVE TROUBLE DISMISSING IT).
This could be looked at as a little sad, or very hopeful, but at the end of it all, you’re going to be left alone with yourself from time to time. Sometimes longer than others. Better to make that expansive and a positive experience than to end up heavily depending on others or abusing substance because you haven’t taken the time or effort to appreciate yourself.


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