The month of February is here, a time of heightened sentiments and outpouring emotions. While we profusely exhibit our love for the other, we often forget to acknowledge the most important person in our lives – our own selves. Caught in the mayhem called life, we end up setting our priorities in ways that completely neglect our own well-being. This is, perhaps, the greatest mistake that one can commit, because self-love lays the foundations of all other relationships in our lives.
The idea of loving oneself has come to be associated with negativity. A person is perceived to be selfish, egotistical, narcissistic, and what not, if they do anything that shows concern for their own welfare. This has to be done away with. Love for the self does not have to necessarily mean being self-centered, or getting your own way everytime. Similarly, it is not about looking for self-gains at the expense of others. The idea of self-love, contrary to popular belief, is extremely simple. It just requires us to be more accepting of our own natural selves.
Life, in contemporary times, is such that our priorities are constantly changing – while for some it might be their careers, others give greater importance to inter-personal relationships. While these aspects are vital for a good life, we tend to forget that none of the above make a difference if they come at the cost of our own peace of mind. Loving ourselves is not just about nurturing our self-esteem, it becomes indispensable when it comes to loving others as well. Does not the popular saying preach – “Love thy neighbour, as you love thyself”? While the part about “loving others” always takes precedence, at the core of it is the command to love oneself too.
Loving ourselves can be an exasperating task. It requires constant commitment and approval, a lot more than when we are involved with another individual. Loving the self can be hard, but it is rewarding. It is only when we are completely in sync with our beautiful selves, that we realize the marvels of our seemingly futile existence. And it is only when we begin to love ourselves entirely, that we become capable of spreading the gift of love better.
For many of us, it is extremely normal to engage in self criticism, or cope with failure stemming from unrealistic expectations and even neglecting a bad health condition. All of this is equivalent to being in an abusive relationship, one that has no escape! Should we not choose a simpler path, one that is gentle towards both, the body and the soul? For someone starting out on this amazing journey, you could begin with something as simple as a few words of self-affirmation in the morning; you have to let go of the harsh self-critic and learn to be more empathetic to yourself.
Self-love feels wonderful when you begin to feel its magical effects, it has the power to change our personalities! We begin to have an understanding of our true self and slowly but steadily, we strive to be better individuals, worthy of our own love. People who love themselves are definitely the most joyful creatures on this planet – comfortable in their own skin and not dependent on others for their happiness. Self-love is not about being too full of yourself, it is about recognizing and celebrating the magnificent and unique being that you are. Never feel guilty about loving yourself, it only helps bring out a better version of you.
So darling, please, love yourself!