Updated: Feb 1
Self-love means having a high regard for your well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve. Self-love is a choice. It is a way of relating to yourself that involves being understanding of your mistakes, understanding in your losses, and being able to effectively communicate with yourself about life without harshly judging or punishing yourself. With self-love comes a lot of uncomfortable growth that we are sometimes unable to comprehend. Before I dive into the discussion, let’s first unpack what uncomfortable growth is, uncomfortable growth is “a journal, a journey ,and library of memories regarding the feelings of self-doubt, confusion, hopelessness, all these things we experience, but mostly learning to laugh through the pain, acknowledging those feeling but not allowing them to rule you”, as said by Gugulethu Nyatsumba.
Our generation has created a toxic circle whereby we settle for less, expect the bare minimum, and give away pieces of ourselves to people who don’t deserve it. We have also become so comfortable with being uncomfortable which is the first mistake we are making. Comfort leads to self-absorption, boredom, and discontent. Calvin Coolidge says, “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort and effort means work”. You can either be comfortable and stationary or expand yourself and become uncomfortable which is uncomfortable but leads to growth. Now that we’ve established what uncomfortable growth is, how do we grow and learn to love ourselves? Have conversations with yourself where you establish what is bothering you, why is it bothering you, how do I move forward and what does it contribute to my wellbeing/ daily life? No one can be honest with you but yourself, which is quite hard and it brings emotion and feelings you didn’t know you felt to the surface which then allows you to unpack your past traumas and allows you to deal with them.
Growth is a difficult journey, there are days where you are extremely happy and there are days where you feel like you have gone back to square one, and that’s ok because you are human with emotions and feelings. Not all days are going to be the same and that is absolutely fine, you need to be patient with yourself and others during this journey. Keep our head up high and constantly reassure yourself, this may be done by reading positive quotes, listening to encouraging podcasts and by holding yourself accountable to growing as a person. Always remember that you must not hate the past you because the past you molded you into who you are and if you hate the past you, you hate the current you which then doesn’t allow you to leave space for the future you.