We’re all taught that if we treat others as we’d like to be treated in return, we’ll live happier lives. But isn’t it about time that we turn that around and focus on providing ourselves the same kind of admiration and love we give to others?

Self love goes beyond the stereotypical pamper sessions. It’s about so much more and a deeper-rooted concern. Too often, we don’t have a big enough inner container for the love we deserve to give ourselves. We are infatuated by the idea of other people giving us love, but it will never work if we can’t even provide ourselves with a small portion of the same kind of love.

Many people associate self love with being selfish, when in fact, it’s exactly the opposite. Being able to take time out for yourself and your own needs eventually reflects on the way you act towards others. Constantly being negative and hard on yourself leaves no room for others to give you love.  If you can practice self love around others, it will be a subtle reminder to them to love themselves as well.

Self love is such a vital part of our existence, yet one we ignore – often purposefully – on a daily basis. We can get caught up in the complexities of life while trying to balance the need to achieve, impress and belong. We can forget about the most important part of this complex puzzle – ourselves.

“If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” Charles Bukowski

I am my own harshest critic. I am always the first to criticise and tear myself apart for the slightest mistake or failure, time after time. It took me a long time to realize that I do not need a green light from the rest of the world to reassure me that I’m on the right path. I’m now learning to trust my instincts instead of my ego.

Listen to your body and ignore all the whispers and dark murmurs in your mind. It’s true that if you talked to others the way the little voices in your mind talk to you, those people may not stay your friends for very long.

Choose yourself first before you let anyone else in. Appreciate yourself for the extraordinary being that you are. If it helps you, thank yourself for getting up in the mornings and then reward yourself for making it through the day. Just as you are a well-functioning, powerful machine put on this earth, there is also a delicacy and fragility within you. You must refuse to seek permission or approval to be yourself. Recognize that you, like everyone else, deserve to take up space on this planet just as you are right now.

As award-winning slam poet Caira Lee says, “I am the most important person in the world to me. I accept that person and I admire that person, and I will do everything in my power to see that person’s dreams come true.”

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Category: Lifestyle    Wellness
Tagged with: feminism    Love    positivity    relationships    self care    self love    self worth

Mia du Toit

19-year-old feminist & women's rights activist. Traveller, sun seeker and plant eater from Cape Town, South Africa.

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