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What is self-love?

When it comes to self-love, women tend to have more questions than answers.

Are self-love & self-care the same thing? What are self-loving actions? How often am I supposed to practice self-love? Does self-love improve my body image? Do self-loving practices influence my relationships with others?

These are a few questions that I hear women ask when starting their self-loving journeys. These were questions that I had asked for years as I walked my own self-loving path. Every time I answered one question, there was a new question waiting for me to answer next. Some answers weren’t definite. Some evolved based on external factors; others I realized I had wrong from the start.

Through all the layers of questions and answers about self-love, I’ve landed on a description of self-love that answers any question you may have about self-love:

Self-love is the healthy practice of respecting, honoring & accepting every part of yourself-the good & the bad.

Let’s break this description down.

The first part about self-love is that it is a healthy practice. This means that the actions that you take, have a positive intention. Positive intentions that have a high regard for your happiness, wellness (physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually), and has no malicious intent toward others.

Philautia means self-love in Greek. Philautia can be either positive or negative. The negative side of philautia is narcissism or selfishness. That’s why it’s important to highlight that the self-love I help people reach is a healthy practice.

The second part of self-love requires respect, honor, and acceptance of every part of yourself. Respect meaning that you value holding yourself to the highest regard. You don’t allow others or even yourself to insult your worth.

Honoring is to make a promise to yourself. To consider your self-love journey as a commitment to yourself. To take actions that reflect this commitment to yourself. Honoring yourself to is to do what is right for you, even if it isn’t always the easiest or most convenient choice.

Acceptance is about surrendering to what is not in your control. To believe who you are, is exactly as you should be. Not trying to change your circumstances, to want to be something or someone else. Acknowledging and surrendering to the naked truth of who you inherently are.

That last part is the most important, the good & the bad. Your journey to embodying self-love is truly that-a journey. There will be ups and downs. There will be bumps and curves. There will be good days when the Sun will shine perfectly and there will days of torrential downpour of rain.

Show up for yourself regardless of any contrast in your journey.

Similarly, just like your journey, you yourself will feel like you have assets & flaws that are contrasting. Self-love is about looking at both and loving them equally. Loving your flaws just as much as you love your assets. Loving your strengths no more than your weaknesses.

Why? Because both are complementary to each other. The traits, characteristics, and features you consider to be “good” and “bad” are essential to who you are, what makes you special, and your purpose in life.

Without both, love can not exist, only infatuation. That is why investing in your self-love is important. Love is the answer to all questions. Love guides you back home. Love truly conquers all.

Self-love is the foundation of all love. You can’t pour from an empty cup and without healthy love for yourself, all of your actions and relationships are misguided. Self-love is the stepping stone that opens up doors where there once was only walls.

Self-love is an opportunity that you can’t afford to live without. Make your self-love a priority today.

Xoxo 

Elena
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