In the spirit of ending Valentine’s Week, I wanted to share my stance on love, and particularly, self-love. I’ve written a lot about love over the years, and I’ve talked extensively about self-love, too. Like any relationship, my own practice of self-love has evolved over time, it’s ebbed and flowed, and I’ve learned so much about what it really, truly means to love yourself.
Loving yourself, especially in this crazy world, is a challenging, full-time job. The term self-love though, gets tossed around a lot lately, usually as a caption to a perfectly manicured social media picture, making us believe that self-love and self-care is actually quite easy. We see beautiful photos on on the internet of spas and massages, and vibrant foods, all labeled as self-care, and all deemed “musts” in order to feel at peace from within.
Every social media influencer has a hot take on the trendiest rituals and potions to make you fall in love with yourself completely, without ever taking into consideration your wants, needs, desires, and intricacies. But we take in messages like these each and every day, and then wonder why we still feel a love void, even after partaking in the world’s advices.
The truth of the matter is, these messages that we are being told, are flawed, and perpetuate the problem they claim to solve. These messages promote consumption rather than fulfillment. And they don’t address access, inclusivity, and privilege that affords many of us the luxury of spa time, high quality foods, and personal essential oil diffusers. These messages miss the mark of the true essence of self-love, because it doesn’t come from anything in the external world, it has to start from within.
Self-love and self-care must be accessible for everyone, and if my above statement is true, that means that self-love can’t be something that can only be obtained through external goods and services. It can’t be something reserved for people who have the time, energy, and resources for it. It must be for all, and the good news is, that it really is.
Self-love isn’t the instagrammable rituals, but rather a deeply rooted, solid foundation that we build inside of ourselves. It’s taking the time to get to know ourselves on an intimate level, and taking care of ourselves from that space. We can participate in all the trendy practices and habits, but if the insides aren’t aligned with the outsides, that external work will feel meaningless.
Like I said at the beginning of this blog, my relationship with self-love has been a complicated one. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it feels impossible. Whenever I have moments where maintaining a loving connection with myself feels difficult, I ask myself these important questions to bring me back to a place of peace, acceptance, and love.
One of my favorite ways to really learn more about myself is taking inventory every once in a while, through this self-inquiry, to get the answers to help me along my way. I hope they can come in handy for you in your own self-love journey.
How can you honor who you are in this moment?
How can you trust your deepest desires?
What beliefs do you need to release to remember that you are already worthy?
How can you set loving boundaries to protect your energy?
How can you communicate for your needs to be met?
How can you make aligned choices?
How can you release fears that are keeping you from going after your desires in life?
What, in this moment, is the most loving action for me to take?
I encourage you to spend some time ruminating in these questions, and seeing how it feels to make yourself your own priority. Remember, you’re always worth it.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org