Self-love has been a ‘thing’ going on the internet a lot these days. Everybody’s waking up at different intensities to the fact that you gotta love yourself before anything or anyone else.
This awakening is empowering people to care for themselves, and love and accept themselves for what they are. But some have the wrong idea about self-love; an ugly picture of self-absorption and narcissism.
These two concepts are poles apart. Heck, they don’t even belong to the same story. This blog post is here to help put self love in better perspective and help clean your glasses a little with emojis.
If you want to love yourself, you must know yourself. You cannot love something you don’t know. Sure, there are love songs sung to an unknown lover, but that stranger is family, in this case; you.
For as far as we can remember and dive into the past, there has hardly been a time when we invested energy and compassion into understanding ourselves. How we work, how our bodies work, how they respond, the things we like, the things we don’t, our fears, our insecurities, overall, everything about us.
We are our biggest mysteries and that’s the irony.
When we say “exploration”, it does not limit just to the mind. Of course, not! We are physical beings, and self-exploration includes exploring the body too. What we mean is 🍑 masturbation or to 🍆 beat the meat.
Yep, that counts as self-love too. But it’s one of the starting or “honeymoon phases” in the journey of self-love. See, romantic love with another person is not that different from self-love. It’s pretty much the same.
When you’re exploring something as personal as yourself, it’s important to know that there’s no “moral high ground”. There’s no morality involved at all. There’s no right and wrong. It’s all you.
And once you approach the path of exploration in such a manner, acceptance becomes easy. There’s nothing “weird”, “strange” or “gross” about the things we do and the people that we are. Except for psychopaths. They need that inward journey ASAP.
Ted Bundy: Wow. So there's nothing wrong with me? I'm just a wonderful person with a colorful personality? This post: Nope. No buddy. You need help. Ted: But I already got help. Lots of it. This post: Okay. We're done here.
Acceptance is key. Accepting our bodies, the way they look, the “shape” they fit, is all still very secondary. Accepting yourself as a unique embodiment of a human soul is what this step is about.
It’s rather an ugly process. Because now, you don’t just chill with your demons, you also talk to them, understand them, and most of all, you accept them. We all have demons. They’re not horrors we see on TV, but a ‘demon’ in this context could even be an insecurity.
Once the acceptance of the self is in place, it’s important to love all those parts of you. They’re not pieces, but parts. Remember, we’re all complete just the way we are.
❤️ popularly signifies romantic love. The kind of love that gets naked. Not superficial, not a one-night-stand, but the kind that’s meant to last.
Do the math.
If ❤️ is supposed to suggest something as intense as a deep connection with someone else, it surely suggests the same with oneself. It doesn’t matter if those “parts” of you make you want to cry, bawl, sleep like a fetus, or even scream, it’s all the process of unlearning everything we’ve ever been taught about love.
Every single thing starts from the self. If there is no self, then there is no you.
🧠 Being Mindful
Self-love is not just for the “good days”. It’s quite easy to “love yourself” on the great days. It, in fact, comes naturally when you’re mentally light, liberated, and in a wonderful and sometimes, even jumpy mood.
Self-love is also for gloomy days. It’s for the ugly times too. It’s for when you can’t get out of bed. It’s for when you can’t stop crying but have to. It’s for all the messy parts of life. Moreover, it’s especially for those parts.
Let yourself be.
In the process of accepting and loving yourself, it’s vital to accept and love all of you. That includes your emotions too. Which comes to the next emoji.
Emotions are not something that we “master” with age. Of course, with the right guidance, we can. But the common idea of becoming stone cold as you grow old is not the way forward. It’s stagnation, instead.
Becoming resistant to something as innate as our psychology would only make it that much harder to understand and accept our emotions.
Everybody loves the happy emotions. Who doesn’t?! We all love looking at, reading, listening to something happy, and even being happy. But it’s impossible to be happy all the time. It’s suffocating.
Let yourself be.
If crying for the next three hours is what you feel like doing, do it. If you want to scream, scream into a pillow. You don’t want to be ruining someone else’s inward journey either. If you feel like it’s too much, take a break. Breathe. It’s all valid. All emotions are valid.
However, we don’t need to validate the emotions that don’t align with us. We need to choose.
💢 Being Reactive
The one thing and the only thing that separates human life from every other form of life on the planet is our mind. And with this mind, comes our ability to choose. Our moral distinctions. We get to choose what we want in life. We get to choose our reactions.
Excessive reaction to external causes only drains and exhausts us emotionally. Similarly reacting to our own emotional atmosphere, does the same.
For instance, you’re super pissed at something, say a patriarchal post. The first reaction is to bash the one who posted it in the comments section. The second reaction is to share it and further the bashing.
Nothing comes out of it. Except, doubled frustration. The world is a strange place, it’s time we accept it. Oppressors don’t want to be identified with oppression and victims, well, they’re blamed even when they don’t play their cards. So, how exactly do you deal with such a situation in a way that doesn’t screw with your mental peace and your self-love journey? You respond.
🧘 Being Responsible
No, it’s not about the inevitable responsibilities of life. It’s about being responsive instead of reactive. So, the post pissed you off, and you’re super mad. Take a few moments off the post. Breathe.
And when you’ve composed yourself off this instant reactive mindset, respond to the post. Instead of bashing up the one who posted it, educate them. Many lack the education that matters, anyway. And instead of re-sharing the post hatefully, add your educative input.
It really helps, because a) You’re calm and responsible, b) you’re educating someone who needs it real bad, and c) you’re mental peace is in one piece (no puns intended).
🎨 Fill Yourself With Some Color
Now that you’re mastering the art of prioritizing your mental peace and self-love journey, it’s time to fill in some color.
When you start understanding and loving yourself, you realize that you have many interests very different from what you were forced to do to make a living. First off, it sucks to be working a job that sucks the life out of you. Secondly, you can add some color.
It’s alright if you can’t break the work routine, but you could always find the time to express yourself fully and let yourself just fully be. It could be a 🖌️ random painting, ✏️ sketching, 🎤 singing (via karaoke or without), 🕺 dancing, 🧶 knitting, 👨🍳 cooking, 🍹 bartending, 📖 reading, anything!
But. Before that, it’s very important to cleanse yourself and your mind from toxic gendered teaching/lessons. What we mean is, if you’re a man, and you feel something in your heart when you come across embroidery, try it. See if you like it. And if you do, you have a new hobby now! Hobbies have no genders.
The concept of hobbies, let alone its familiarity, is left behind in childhood. Many people stop pursuing or doing the things they loved doing as children, even if they still love those things. Because the capitalist world has no time for hobbies.
Different people have different priorities. We’re in no way diminishing the grit and dedication those priorities need. Sometimes, some people have it tough. There is indeed no time for anything besides making money and feeding the family.
But, if you chose to be on the path of self-love; the very act of putting yourself before everything else, and taking time out to explore yourself, suggests the slightest possibility that you may have some time for yourself if not much. It’s not only about doing things for others but including yourself on that list too.
Nobody tells us the importance of having hobbies. It’s always a side thing. But truth is, hobbies are what keep us going when we can’t.
Our 🧑💼 mainstream jobs are bound to exhaust us at some point. 😴 Sleeping through the free time just to clear your head would get exhausting too. And all we’re left with is, this exciting yet caged need to burst. And that burst is the most satisfying when it is released through passion.
Not 🥃 drinking, not even 💏 sex, but the passion that flows rich through you and only you. The passion that demands fulfillment. It could even be 🗒️ scribbling stuff, 🧱 building something, 🖼️ rearranging your room, etc.
It’s anything that you feel like doing. Not to fulfill an external thirst, but an internal starvation.
🧑🤝🧑 Spread the Love
When someone is on the path of self-love, love multiplies within. It’s abundant now. And when your cup is full and almost overflowing, that’s when you are truly ready to share the love. To spread it and to make the world a better place.
From a very young age, most of us are exposed to the idea of romantic love being the solution to all our problems. We’re exposed to the “happily ever after” without a single picture of the happily ever after.
We’ve been fed the idea of incompleteness all our lives. We’ve been taught that it’s “only human” to roam the earth in search of our soul mate/true love/twin flame to complete us. But in reality, we’re all complete. That feeling of constant incompleteness when we lack a partner is so strong because so many of us don’t know how to love the most important person; ourselves.
So, before we begin to spread love, we must be love. You can’t share apples with someone when you have none in the kitchen. You gotta grow them and go through that entire process of growth before you could share the harvest. Humans are no different.
Sure. You could just buy those apples, but hey. Someone did invest their time and effort to grow them.
Self-love is not an accomplishment. It has no end, in other words. Although you achieve self-love, you got to keep it burning. It never ends. It’s the commitment of a lifetime. And here’s the best part? You’ll never break your heart in this relationship. There won’t be any loose ends begging for closure. And trust issues will not be baggage, because there will be none.
The best thing about self-love is the outcome; freedom. Once we love ourselves, we’re free. Free from all the BS society has convinced us to believe about ourselves, free from all the hate, and most importantly, free from self-doubt. Ah, yes. That one’s a bitch. There’s nothing purer than loving ourselves. Wholly, abundantly, and unconditionally.
How does self-doubt just vanish once you love yourself? Think about the person you love the most. Is there a single doubt in your heart about their potential? Do you doubt where that committed relationship is going? No. You just trust the process, and it’s the same with yourself. Trust.
The next time you talk about self-love, share posts about it or educate someone about the process, we hope these ideas are the first to help.