Back to Basics: The importance of Self Love
No one can tell you how to love yourself, but yourself.
Art by Grace M
I open my laptop, looking at the half dim screen, my eyes seeming to close in slow motion. But just before, I come across a few unpublished pieces I’ve written about self love. Do you want to know what they all have in common? They’re all about 3 sentences long, brief with very little detail.
That takes me to my next point: I thought writing about self love would be easy because self love is something that should come from within, but it’s harder to write about when you still struggle with it everyday. Insecurities cloud our judgement, making us seem less important to ourselves and I think that’s what we need to learn how to change. We are subject to letting ourselves think we aren’t strong enough to love ourselves, but we are. Self love is a growing process, with each and every day a step ahead of the last. It’s the very thing that makes us who we are. One of the most important things about it, is that in order to mould yourself into the person you want to be, you have to learn how not to question your happiness.
This is how I see it: Self love is made up of two components, one of them being happiness and the other being love. They both balance each other out which, in all, creates self love. Self love is about learning to love yourself even at the worst of times, even when everything feels like it’s going downhill. No one can tell you how to love yourself, but yourself. We all have it in us, it just depends how often we put it to use. Confidence is key in self love because it builds up the stamina you thought you never had. We fall in love with fragments of ourselves, really. There’s a poem by Lang Leav that I found to be quite useful in this article, a poem that speaks to me on many levels regarding learning personally how to self love.
“Once when I was running, from all that haunted me; to the dark I was succumbing- to what hurt unbearably.
Searching for the one thing, that would set my sad soul free.
In time I stumbled upon it, and inner calm and peace; and now I am beginning, to see and to believe, in who I am becoming- and all I’ve yet to be.”
I’m not going to tell you what to do in order to love yourself because we all differ, and I’m not a psychologist of any sort, but I can tell you what I’ve learned from it in hopes that you, too, will take something upon reading this article and use it in your everyday life as a reminder that you are good enough. When I’m feeling down I usually open up a book and start reading or I write my scattered thoughts onto paper hoping that someday, years ahead of now when I’m gone, I become a great and famous writer people idolize (One can dream, am I right?). No, but really. Writing down your thoughts is the best way of self expression which in turn leads to self love. Many musicians, poets, artists, and writers have all, at some point in their life, written down their thoughts or ideas or letters or doodles or sketches in a journal. That’s how they stay sane, sometimes. I’ve read some books that I thought have helped me in this growing process and maybe they can help you, too.
Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan Memories by Lang Leav The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie La Cava
I’ve also learned that spending time with loved ones helps a bunch because your mind becomes clear from negative thoughts. Take photos you love, print them, and stick them anywhere to remind you that that’s why you are happy. Get pretty, acknowledge your beauty and inner beauty as a diamond that has yet to be discovered. Last of all, have fun. When you’re having fun, all the bad seems to dissipate and you’ll forget you even had bad in your life.