This post will be written in a sort of rambly fashion, with it, I wish to express what self-love means to me and talk about the journey of me finding the answer to it. It doesn’t really count towards anything in terms of hand-in, I just wanted to write this down to have a basis for research moving forward. I think writing it all out will make it easier for me to find the key elemetns to research later on.
This is somewhat of a difficult topic for me to discuss as for the longest time, I struggled with self-love or even self-tollerance. It has become easier with time but at points, there is part of me that feels guilty for feeling good about myself. In the last couple of years I’ve been able to develop a new, better approach to perceiving myself and I would say that this newfound outlook has benefited me greatly. It has allowed me to take better care of myself, become what I consider to be the best version of me up till this point and also, to be more critical of people in a sense of acknowledging in my mind if someone has messed up, thinking it over and making a decision of whether or not continuing to keep in contact is in my best interest. Before, I was very selfless, often letting people walk over me and as a result, having my mental health take continuous jabs, at times rendering me completely helpless and immobile. It took me meeting my partner and my friends here at uni to truly see how much I had been mistreated by the people in the past. Their love allowed me to see that yes, I am worthy of love and that I do need to love myself. Of course, I still have a lot of debris of the old, destructive mindset scattered across my mind and it does tend to rear its ugly head in moments of vulnerability and distress, however, it doesn’t stick around for too long, as I am now surrounded with people who help me ward it off. My self-love stems from love I receive, it’s a sort of fuel for me to keep going.
Change and growth are the outcomes of my self-love journey. I believe that in the last 4 years, I have undergone the biggest change I ever could have. Thinking back on it, I refuse to believe that the person I was back then was me. No self-confidence, reliant on anyone and everyone, isolated and distant, dissatisfied with myself and every little thing I would do, constantly over-thinking everything, defenseless against thoughts of past and dare I say – quite pathetic. Of course, I mean that in the kindest way possible, I don’t mean to look down upon the person that I used to be, it’s more so me feeling bad for him, wishing that he had someone like me to keep him afloat, to keep him company. Writing this out, I feel like I should stop distancing myself from who I used to be, almost to a point where it seems like I’m talking about someone other than me, I should instead embrace that memory and lay it to rest. It’s what I wish I had known back then – that I could look back on everything that happened and that I would be able to forgive myself and be proud of myself for making through it. It’s the least that I can do.
I have become so incredibly powerful. Nowadays, the only struggle I face is reminding myself of the power that I possess, which often gets in my way of reaching the goals I set for myself. Which, in itself, causes me to relapse and become upset with myself again, but, it never seems to last for too long, thankfully. That’s another type of self-love I seem to practice from time to time – reflection, acceptance of flaws and a drive to work on them. There is still so much for me to learn, and so many facets of myself to work on, develop and perfect but generally, I think I am doing amazing given the circumstances.
Growth, Change, Strength and the honing of these traits is my version of self-love. Of course, with a lot more being present, but none as prevalent as these. Moving on from toxicity, learning to accept my flaws and work on them, reflecting and growing as a person are my common practices of self-love.