It took me a long time to pen this down. I thought long, far, and wide of what to write. The inner critic in me kept asking if my words were going to be enough, it judged my writing as inadequate, it questioned my being enough.
At first, I gave in and kept procrastinating but in the end, here we are. It was amazing though because now even this article is relatable to me. I know you have been in this ship a lot more often. How do you deal with it?
I mean, with what weight do you measure self-love?
Do you even love yourself enough?
Do you love your imperfections, your flaws as much as you love the glitter in your life?
Howbeit all this makes you who you are.
What Does Self-love Mean?
You think those who love themselves are people with smiling faces who have their whole lives in colours, all planned out. You have a mental deduction that their lives are not puzzle games, they live above errors and mistakes. How I laugh so hard! Oh, come off that train!
Self-love means having a high regard for your own well being and happiness. It means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well being to please others. It means not settling for less than you deserve.Tweet
Self-love is an ocean and your heart is a vessel. Make it full and any excess will spill over into the lives of others. If you truly yourself, everyone around you gets that same energy.
It’s not about being cocky, it’s just self-confidence. Do not let anyone speak less of you, not even yourself!
Self-love is not vanity, it’s sanity!
Why is Self-love Such a Big Deal?
Arrrgh! All this writing for what? Haba! Afterall, I fix my hair weekly, change my wardrobe monthly, vacation is on a ‘steady steady’, social media is my go-to after the ‘paparazzi’, and I eat the ‘orisirisi‘ I lay my hands upon.
I want to shake my head, but then, ‘hanty and unku‘ let’s talk…
You remember abi, how you saved all that money you were meant to treat yourself a nice plate of vegetable, the one with the ‘orisirisi‘, with red pepper, and condiments with an addition of hot pounded yam. For what? So you could get ‘juicy boobs and ass oil’ from Ada’s collection. I know they tagged you ‘skinny’ at school.
Unku, I remember how you loved to be the Maltina fan while out with the rest of the ‘geng’, but you decided to take just one cup of the chemical mixture and a long drag of that piece of burning stick. I know they called you weak too.
The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.E.E Cummings
Can I put to you that you violated the self-love code? You let the society and stereotypes define you.
You keep stuffing that your liver that is meant to last till you are ‘old and grey’, with chemical.
The great body the Lord gave you, you want it to reach the elastic limit, haba! you can do better.
I need you to look into the mirror, chin up, gaze high, basking in your goodness, not with your hair like fallen shoulders sunk into the pillow stressing your tear glands because the world can’t see the glow in you. Self-love is a big deal!Tweet
If you are searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror.
Self-love and Mental Health
Some people conjure the wrong images of the concept of self-love. It is so heartbreaking to recount the statistics of suicidal deaths.
If you loved yourself enough, why would you kill yourself?
But psychologists attest that self-love is a key for mental health and well being, with the right dose, depression and anxiety is kept at bay.
Do not anyone tamper with your thoughts.
To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.Alan Cohen
How Do You Develop Self-love?
The list runs on and on, as long as you are not being toxic, love yourself as best as you can.
All I can be is to be me, whoever that is.Bob Dylan
Here are a few tips to practise self-love:
1. Love yourself
It’s no mistake. Love yourself fiercely! Be intentional. 365 or 366 days, love your being through it all without wasting a second.
2. Confess Self-love
There are moments the inner critic might decide to get the better part of you through the tough moments on rough days, shut that voice out! Scream it to the world. I love the poem by Maya Angelou “And Still I Rise”. The lines resonated and struck chords in me.
3. Forgive yourself
You will be broken a lot of times, forgive yourself. Be realistic, understand that you are only human. It’s perfectly okay to make mistakes. You are no degree less your worth.
4. Delete the past
Let go of past trauma, hurt, bitterness, rage, and wounds. When that past comes calling, let it go to voicemail, it has no updated news. You are not your past. Lift that weight off your shoulder.
5. Feed on healthy meals
Every organ in your body is important. How do you stay alive if they are down? It’s not about pocket drilling holes meals, it’s about a balanced healthy meal. Do not take in anything toxic at the expense of your health.
6. Be self-confident
Stop the comparisons and bask in your goodness. Celebrate your wins, big or small, it’s about baby steps. Do not let anyone troddle on your self-esteem. Build your self-esteem as high as the skies. Don’t wait for validation from others.
7. Be confident in your own skin
I know you feel you are ‘overweight’ or ‘skinny’, or too ‘dark’ but then, pay less attention to stereotype critics who feel you need to be in a certain shape or skin colour to fit into the society.
Delete that perfect picture of the run-off- the -mill breathtaking supermodel goddess, or a blazing hot 6 packs, 6 ft tall supermodel Hollywood purged into you. If you want a super body, let that be your choice not because of some side comments.
Stand out! There are no rules. Move that gorgeous body of yours every single day and learn to be in awe of your own skin.
8. Put a stop to toxic relationships
No one deserves to steal your peace. Be the most honoured guest in your own heart.
I want to resist the urge to ‘shalaye’, lol, but I once saw a tweet that said ‘sometimes you need to pick out people like beans’. Set your goals straight and declutter the excess garbage.
9. Believe in yourself
No one can do it like you. You are the one to live your life best. Believe in yourself even when you seem not to be doing it all right, no one ever does it perfectly right anyways. You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.
10. Be conscious of your self worth
You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.Bhajan
Stop judging yourself through someone else’s eyes, for all you know, he/ she might be blind.
You don’t have to show a little bit of skin before you can call yourself beautiful.
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.Veronica A. Shoffstall.
You not having beards doesn’t make you any less of a man.
When you fall 7 times, rise 8 times.
- There are no extra life chances. Once this bundle is exhausted, you only live once, so, live it right!
Love yourself fiercely, you owe no one an apology for doing so.
Find something to be grateful for every day; if you can’t find it, be grateful for life- you own something money cannot buy. I bet you are excited.
Find your happy place.
Grow! Reading this article is evidence that you crave development.
Hit the brake and breath deeply. Do things that make you happy.
Be patient, but persistent. Self-love is ever-evolving. It’s something that needs to be practised daily.
Hey you! You deserve to be loved dearly not only by those around you but by the most important person in your life – YOU.
I love you! Here’s a virtual long tight bear hug from me to you. I hope you love yourself as much, forget about the past, let’s do better, ‘las las, we go dey alright’.
How do you practice self-love? Are you about to be more deliberate about it? Feel free to share with me in the comments and don’t forget to share this article with someone who needs it.