Three Steps to Self-Love
“The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all.”
— Whitney Houston, “Greatest Love of All”
Ok, ok, I know what you’re probably thinking. “Self-love” is a tree-hugging, hipster-esque term for being confident. Well, we’ve got a diverse team here at One+Love–including a few tree huggers–but self-love is so much more than being confident! Audre Lorde calls it “an act of political warfare.”
How many of us actually take care of ourselves? Let’s take a moment to ponder….
Besides the usual cleansing routines and making sure we have food in our systems, what else do we do for our own benefit? Showing ourselves love is important and absolutely necessary! We already live in a world that, for the most part, shuts us out and promotes hate in relation to some of our identities. Why continue that negativity in our own lives, especially when dealing with ourselves? We are our own support system. We need to stop creating room for self-depreciating thoughts. Let’s make a commitment to change the way we look at and treat ourselves! Let’s start with self-love!
Define self-love, for yourself.
Self-love can be defined according to your own needs. Maybe it’s writing a love letter to yourself every once in a while. Perhaps it’s having the courage to step out and wear that outfit that society says you shouldn’t wear. Maybe it’s changing your hair color or spending time alone checking in with yourself. Self-love is you loving you, on your own terms!
Whatever you need to do for yourself that makes your spirit smile, giggle, sing–go for it!
Differentiate self-love from selfishness.
For some, the term self-love may come off as a bit selfish. It may seem like it means neglecting caring for others. It may seem egotistical. Well, I’ll admit, there was a time in my life that I thought this as well. Whenever I heard the term, I cringed a bit. For me, self-love sounded mean and distant. It created images in my head of a person that didn’t want to interact with people, ever. Who would want that? This made push back on self-love and neglect supporting my inner being. I was hesitant about self-love because I didn’t believe I deserved it.
For many, identifying as a member of the LGBTQ community can spell marginalization. The effects of marginalization can have a profound impact on how we view ourselves, often resulting in self-neglect. Some of us are at political war with ourselves. One way to win the battle is through self-love.
Loving yourself doesn’t mean you completely neglect your friends and loved ones. Make time for both yourself and the people that are important to you. Hey, you can even invite them on this journey with you. If you’re going to write a love letter to yourself, have ’em co-sign!
Act on your love.
We all know the saying: “Actions speak louder than words.” Love takes work. It sounds pleasing to the ear to proclaim self-love and care, but the action itself is more rewarding! Loving yourself is a journey. It is a challenge at times. Choose to commit at least five mins a day to promoting self-love.