What Really is Self-Love? 5 Truths and 5 Ways to Practice Self-Love.

“Love is never having to say I’m sorry…”

A classic line from the iconic movie, Love Story, the eternal quote always reminds us to love deeply, and to give all we can so we won’t have no regrets, and we won’t end up feeling hurt.

It’s interesting, though, that the same quote applies to self-love – it’s also never having to say “I’m sorry” to yourself.

One of the facts that sting quite a bit is that we can be kind, and understanding with everyone but ourselves. It seems as though showering ourselves with affection is a tough task to do.

Perhaps, the guilt that comes with loving ourselves has caused this phrase to be coined: “self-love is not selfish.”

The Misconceptions About Self-Love

When you ask people about self-love, it’s not far-fetched if they would answer “Oh, like splurging on a bag? A trip to the Caribbean? Shopping without guilt?”

Don’t get me wrong – these things are great expressions of self-love and nothing to be guilty about. However, social media has trademarked self-love as the splurging, the traveling, the relaxing that people often associate self-love with selfishness and vanity.

A misconception that is just wrong. 

Although self-love can be experienced through the ways mentioned above, they are not the end all, be all definition of truly loving ourselves.

In this blog, we’re talking about what self-love really means and how you can practice self-love in your life more intuitively and effectively.

5 Truths About Self-Love

So what does it really mean to love yourself? Here are 5 truths you might want to remember.

Self-Love is Truly About Going “Inward”

Loving yourself more is like taking the first steps out of the shadows of guilt and running yourself thin and finally saying “Here I am, ready to listen to what I need.”

self-love is not just about treating ourselves. It is also about listening to ourselves. It is acknowledging that just like people and things we’re passionate about, we also owe ourselves the luxury of being loved.

Self-Love is Connecting with Our Inner Voice

If you are someone who has been so used to giving your all for other people, you might find it hard to hear your inner voice. The true practice of self-love includes getting in touch once again with the guiding voice inside us; the inner voice that encourages us to love ourselves more.

Self-Love is Finding The Courage to Set Boundaries

Boundaries are a powerful example of self-love. Loving ourselves gives us the power to learn to say NO when it is needed. Without guilt. Without second guessing our decision.

The choice to say NO can push us to feel guilty. When we begin to practice self-love, we understand that no amount of guilt should make us compromise ourselves, our peace, and our sanity. The practice of self-love can empower us to stick to our boundaries no matter how difficult they may be.

Self-Love is Shunning the Guilt

Focusing on ourselves is mindfully choosing ourselves. When we intentionally choose ourselves, and when we embrace the fact that we deserve the love we give ourselves, we can let go of the guilt or any other negative emotions, and limiting beliefs that can consume us when we give ourselves a little treat. So with baby steps and a little grace, let go of what’s stopping you from loving yourself.

Self-Love is Empowerment

Overall, self-love is all about being empowered to do things you never could do before. It’s about choosing our wellness over spreading ourselves thin, and not being guilty about. It’s getting over glorifying exhaustion and burnout disguised as help. It’s about understanding that we become better when we choose to also give the time to focus on ourselves.

5 Ways to Practice Self-Love

Self-Love doesn’t call for huge purchases or out of the country experiences. In truth, self-love is a process of acceptance, getting over traditional narratives, and truly embracing what makes you feel loved and free. The art of loving ourselves is a lifetime process. It’s not easy or pretty sometimes, but you can always start. If you’re planning to start your journey of loving yourself better, you can do these things.

Tell Yourself Everyday That You Deserve Love

Habits as simple as waking up in the morning and doing things for you, meditating, exercising, making a list of goals, can set the tone for your entire day. When you start your day nurturing you, you will have so much power to help others better.

Tell Yourself Everyday That You Have Boundaries

And stick to them! Our relationships are special for us, but they can also be the primary source of heartaches. Setting personal boundaries can prevent us from falling into habits that will hurt us in the long run.

Tell Yourself Everyday That Listening To Yourself is Essential

Our inner voice is our lifeline. It keeps us anchored to our desires, to our beliefs, and to what matters most to us. The voice inside us helps us not get caught up with the voices around. Amidst all the opinions around us, listening to our inner voice keeps us grounded and in touch with what we want for ourselves.

Tell Yourself Everyday That You’re Learning

Practicing self-love will include a lot of self-reflection, regrouping, recalibrating, a lot of workarounds in relationships. If we’re used to spreading ourselves too thin, prioritizing “me” can take a lot of getting used to. Be patient. Be consistent. You will eventually get it.

Tell Yourself That Self-Love is Not Selfish

When you’re tempted to think that self-love is synonymous to selfishness, remember this – you are healing yourself to be a better version of yourself. A better you is equal to a better companion, better worker, better parent, better sibling, better child, better performer.

And Remember…

The process of self-love is not easy; it requires a lot of healing and inner work. self-love also calls us to change a lot of beliefs we have held onto for years. But self-love is not impossible. Hard, but not impossible. And it’s something you can do right now, without a timetable, without making a strategic plan for it.

One of the things that I found hardest to accept when I first came across the concept of self-love is that learning to love yourself is genuinely one of the few and key things in life that you have to do it on your own, in your own way and time and no one, not even your partner in life, your parents, your kids can do for you. It’s something that we all need to do for ourselves and we will individually become a better person for it, ultimately benefiting those around us too when we’re true to ourselves.