Self-love is in the air folks. And it is a beautiful thing. A rise of people loving ones self is long over due, for it is much easier to populate the world with love when one has love for themselves. We’ve all heard the maxim, you cannot love another until you love yourself. Sure. Sure. But it seems our generation took the sentiment to heart, and I am not mad at all. I love the self-love. On the contrary, all of this self-love talk got me thinking. What does self love actually mean? More importantly, what does self-love require? My response is self-love must be supported by the following pillars: self-confidence, self-advocacy, self-acceptance, and self-awareness.
Pillar– noun| a person or thing regarded as reliably providing essential support for something.
At this point it should be no secret I am a recovering type A, over-achieving, hyper ambitious, and hyper sensitive person. In agreement with my personality type, is the desire to be perfect, outstanding, and good at all times. The shit is stressful because there is no such thing as a perfect person. On the contrary, one of my sister friends alerted me that I have a hard time admitting to and discussing my short-comings, my difficulties, and my hard-ships. She was right. I don’t do that shit. It weighs me down. It gets me to over-analyzing every moment in my day where I could have been better. Nonetheless, last night I had a thought: Fuck it. I was in the shower thinking about a conversation I had with a classmate. My thoughts were, I hope I did not come off arrogant. I was just being honest. My Type A personality was about to take over the peacefulness of my shower, until I thought: Fuck it. I’m too old for this. Gone are the days were I obsess and attempt to resolve every flawed moment I have. I am who I am. I’m not perfect. There is room for me to grow, sure. But obsessing over the little quirks that make me me, I don’t have time for. Then, I thought. Self-acceptance must be connected to self-love.
Break it Down, B:
My meditation on the idea of self-acceptance lead me to think about the other pillars needed to healthily love ones self. I began to think about the other areas of which I had grappled with that were also connected to self-love. Its easy to say, I love myself, I’m the shit, and post bomb ass selfies to affirm the fact, but there is more needed to help grow in that love. Self-confidence, self-advocacy, self-acceptance, and self-awareness are the ingredients needed to nurture self-love while growing into a phenomenal bitch.
- Self-confidence is trusting in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. It’s important to know who you are and have faith in the attributes you hold. In addition to overall loving yourself consider your prized abilities and qualities, and believe they will carry you to your goals. Name those bad boys. Repeat after me. I love myself because I am ____________________. And the rest is destiny. Self-confidence is the faith that guides self-love.
- Self-advocacy is the act of representing and fighting for yourself, or your views. An essential component of self-love, is honoring yourself enough to standing up against opposition, hardships, or disrespect. Self-advocacy comes in many forms. Advocacy could be setting that ignorant mofo at your job correct, when they address you incorrectly. It could also mean showing up for your desires. For example, I desire to live a healthy life. Advocating for myself means showing up to work out. Regardless of the occasion, self-advocacy is the action that builds self-love.
- Self-acceptance is the feeling of satisfaction with ones highlights and blemishes. It is loving oneself for better or for worse. It is accepting the fact that you have or you will make mistakes and feeling love for yourself enough to shine through regardless. It is consenting to enjoy your flaws as well as your good qualities. It is affirming you deserve love in spite of the past while welcoming your whole self into the future. Self-acceptance is the feeling that treats self-love.
- Self-awareness is understanding one’s character, feelings, motives, and desires. It is being aware of your flaws and qualities. It is loving yourself enough to both own imperfections and yearn to grow. It is knowing your goals as well as the characteristics you have that will stifle your achievement. For example, I know I can be lazy and procrastinate, but I love myself enough to fight against those habits. Self-awareness is knowing your braids are a little stale and need to come out, but loving yourself enough to walk as the bad bitch you are regardless. Self awareness is the knowledge base that powers self love.
Self-love is an incredible thing. After all this world needs all the love it can get. Nonetheless, self-love cannot stand alone. Self-confidence, self-advocacy, self-acceptance, and self-awareness are needed to hold that mug up. Consider your pillars.
“We can create love where ever we are. Valuing ourselves rightly means we understand love to be the only foundation of being that will sustain us in both times of lack and times of plenty.” — bell hooks
- Self love needs support.
- “Love yours girl or nobody will.”
- Love is everything.
Be your best you.
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Britney F. Classic