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When you think of self Love, what comes to mind?

It’s safe to say we think something along the lines of a relaxing bath with bubbles and bath bombs (maybe a glass of wine in hand), getting that workout in we consistently remind ourselves of, or actually putting on makeup and an outfit other than sweats and a t-shirt.

I’m in no way saying these are not acts of self Love, but are we also getting the bigger picture? Sure, it’s about feeling good about ourselves – only we can help that – but it’s also about doing good in regards to our overall being.

It’s about rekindling and healing our soul.

Just saying, no amount of bubble baths in this world can do that. TBH, I used to think it were things like that to help me understand the meaning of self Love, but I truly believe we are greatly misinformed to the true meaning of self Love. Mainly because the word selfish gets thrown around like it’s nobody’s business.

For lack of better terms, we easily get self Love shamed these days – especially by those we Love and care about. So beyond the times of bra less relief, nights out with the girls or a day at the spa, learn to Love yourself a little bit more every day.

Isn’t it crazy how easy it is to tell someone else what they need to hear, yet not ourselves? Whether it be self denial of right from wrong, or that the truth we speak simply doesn’t apply to ourselves.

When that is the very problem – you are not recognizing yourself as being worthy of the same respect.

The worst is when it has to do with life and Love advice. Too many times I’ve seen the classic, “Girl, you deserve better than someone willing to cheat on you like that…“, yet those words of advice come from the horse’s mouth of someone knowingly in a relationship with a cheater.

Why, why, why?!

How do we go about practicing more of what we preach? Be your own best friend.

What is so wrong with that? Instead of reaching out to a friend or calling my mom, I spend many circumstances of my life delegating with myself. No joke – out loud, too. I know that sounds downright mental and kind of meaningless, but the path toward self Love requires you to entrust that what you think, feel, say and do is significant to your happiness.

So the next time you give a friend some serious life advice you fail to apply to your own, acknowledge your worthiness in the same manner.

Give yourself a pat on the back

Sometimes we aren’t willing to take credit for the things we do in our lives that anyone else could easily do. What may come naturally and conveniently to others doesn’t mean it will for you, and vice versa. No matter – when you work your a** off, you deserve that recognition. It may not always come in a bonus or an award – hell, those around you may not even take notice – but rewarding needs to come from a place of self achievement.

You survived that brutal work meeting you’ve been preparing for and dreading for months. If you’re overwhelmed with relief that it’s over (whether it went well or not), THAT is still an accomplishment.

Give yourself that pat on the back. This is more than okay – in fact, self achievement is a vital aspect in terms of self Love. If we aren’t proud of our own successes – big and small – then are they really?

Society can easily make it seem like an accomplishment isn’t worthy of acknowledgement if it isn’t noticed by other than ourselves, so we need to learn the difference between succeeding to impress others versus ourselves.

Stop comparing yourself to that other chick on Instagram

UGH, I see this connnnnstantly (even in the blog business world). Sure, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult at times – it often times makes you want to question everything.

Who am I? What am I doing wrong here? Where am I going with my life? Why can’t I be as happy? 

You want to be just like that girl – she quit her minimum wage job to travel everywhere without care, or frankly any money. She looks effortlessly beautiful it seems – her hair is always perfectly barrel curled and her lashes are ALWAYS on point (with or without mascara). She’s always posting cutsy photos of her and bae – like they’re the PERFECT couple who is always in Love.

Girl…. that a figment of your imagination. You are fabricating a life you want to see based on a photo or caption.

For one thing, she doesn’t just travel easily – it is also a lifestyle choice. Meaning, she likely sacrifices aaaa lot more than you think (like that Starbucks coffee every morning), and may even have to travel for her job (the perks being fly miles or hotel discounts). Besides, you have no clue what short sticks she ends up with from this lifestyle – such as the constant need for escape (from a life she calls “home”), the fear of settling for stability (in life, her relationship, job or future), enduring frequent, long layovers, sketchy hostels or hotels, or the struggle with an empty bank account if she doesn’t make quick cash between backpacking Europe.

Not saying the lifestyle isn’t great, but it has it’s peaks and valleys.

The beauty you see is only surface deep, and with the technology and filters we have anyone can basically look like a picture-esque model these days. She likely spends quite a bit of $$$ (let’s be real here, for someone like me, going to the salon isn’t cheap) and hours – I mean, hourrrrssss weekly – to get that beautiful hair.

She may even say 8 out of 10 of those photos you see are bad hair days in her eyes.

As for her relationship – again, what you see is literally surface deep. You have zero sense of the life they live behind closed doors. For all you know it could be a complete travesty. Relationships themselves are far more intricate than what you see from a simple Instagram photo or Facebook post. All you are seeing is nothing short of perfection they aim to portray on social media.

Believe me, I was in this very boat at one point in my life. There was this picture I had painted that my life should be, rather than creating happiness from the life I am given and who I am.

Bottom line is we are so moved by the things we want to see in ourselves, yet we allow this sense of inadequacy to transpire. That mindset won’t shape for a healthy lifestyle, nor is that any life to constantly live. Adequacy comes from within – in knowing that you are enough – and shaping a life of happiness is derived entirely by you, not anyone else.

Maintain your boundaries

With friends, coworkers, family and your significant other. This is all so important because when we allow our boundaries to be crossed, it closes the separation between doing right by others and doing right by ourselves. When this occurs, it can be incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed, doubt, disappointment, codependent and even unworthy.

Boundaries in your life are not selfish – they can be mistaken simply because it is a selfless act in self Love and not in regard of others.

We should even have boundaries in terms of the things we find most difficult to control, such as the use of social media, our phones, email, texting and so on. Harder to implement, no doubt, but even more necessary if we want to maintain our boundaries among the people in our lives.

Learn to say no – when enough is enoughResist to pressures that push you beyond your limit. Avoid environments that do not bring you joy – this includes the surrounding of others.

Your happiness should never be an expense.

Surround yourself with people who Love and encourage you in life

This one is difficult – even for me – simply because this is becoming such a rarity in true form.

I have had to let go of a lot of people in my life over the last 10 years, as well as make the ultimate decision to separate myself from toxic family dynamics from my childhood. Though I have no regrets to this day, these matters are also gut wrenching lessons that have helped shape me into the individual I want to be.

Whether it be that friend that continually drags you down in life along with them or the family member whose way of showing Love is out of manipulation or self gratification, you can still Love and forgive them from afar while doing what’s best for you.

By surrounding yourself with those who have a positive influence on your life, it will become infectious to be for yourself and others.

Treat yourself like you are the single most valuable person on this earth

You know the saying, “How you treat others is a true reflection as to how you treat yourself.” This is sometimes telling because while many are always looking to do good for others they can also have the tendency to neglect themselves. Then there are those who do wrong by others simply to avoid the expense of their own happiness.

When we think of selflessness, we are taught that this is the concern for other’s needs/wishes over our own. When we think of selfishness, we are taught that this is excessive concern with oneself at the expense of others, or exclusively seeking advantage of oneself without regard for others.

TBH, I was a bit taken back to read that “self Love” and “introversion” were among some of the synonyms to the definition of “selfishness“.

Here’s what I’m getting at: if you were to consider the quote above, then that would mean selfishness actually isn’t self Love, either. It’s as if there is this fine, delicate line between selflessness and selfishness – that being why the two get SO MISUNDERSTOOD – and self Love falls somewhere directly smack dab in the middle.

At what point could selflessness and selfishness actually be detrimental to the genuine ability to love oneself?

Self Love is about healing, personal growth and accountability. It is also knowing what isn’t – such as using acts of kindness for self validation, or actions believed to be loving but are actually selfish and enabling. Self love is a transformation in which allows you to become more emotionally available and capable of genuinely loving and empathizing with others.

With that being said, if you are not prioritizing yourself you will not be able to genuinely love anyone else. So in order to prioritize yourself, you need to value your needs and for that requires you to know your worth.

We want to encourage you to love yourself just a little bit more this month!

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