The Truth About Self-Love: What You Really Need to Know.
I had a moment last week. It looked quite similar to the opening scene out of Bridget Jones’s Diary (minus the smoking and singing) but there I was, curled up in bed in my PJ’s feeling pretty sorry for myself.
As a high-achieving, go-getting, type A, getting sick with the flu was not on the top of my priority list. I thrive when I’m ‘doing’ so sitting still and resting is not what I’d call fun. I’m the type of gal that loves that productive feeling. I love making progress and ticking jobs/errands/dreams/goals off the list – all the things that I couldn’t do whilst being bed-ridden.
Of course the universe has a way of ‘inconveniencing’ us when we need to stop and pay attention. I knew that getting sick was a lesson for me and the lesson came when I heard the wise words from Sally – one of my beautiful readers.
She commented on my Facebook page, “You are not the doing, so just BE”.
I’ve probably heard it a thousand times before, and I know how important it is to simply ‘be’, but sometimes you have to hear something over and over again until it really sinks in.
In that moment I realised that I have always loved myself when I’m ‘doing’- when I’m taking action, when I know I’ve worked hard. But, being? Could I really love myself when I’m simply ‘being’?
The term self-love get’s thrown around a lot, but really loving ourselves feels like a completely different concept to me. When I think of self-love I think of burning candles, and cups of tea, and gifting myself with 8 hours of sleep – but what about those moments when we’re not feeling the greatest? Can we still love ourselves even when we’re not showing up as our best self?
In the past, I’ve always been happy and proud of myself when I’ve accomplished something. Whether it’s finishing my university degree, cooking up meals for the week, or completing the house work, I’ve loved myself during those moments – but what happens when everything turns to shit? I hadn’t been able to love myself then.
For a long time, I’ve placed a lot of rules and conditions on my love and as I sat there in bed, tears streaming down my face – this realisation was a very hard pill to swallow. Yeah I loved myself when I finished my life-coaching course, but when I didn’t get the flood of clients I was expecting? I berated myself. When I didn’t save the amount of money I was hoping to as a woman in her mid-twenties, I didn’t really love myself. My idea of loving myself involved a lot of ‘doing’, and achieving, not a whole lot of ‘being’.
If you’ve been putting conditions, rules or expectations upon yourself and holding back on your love, then I urge you to keep reading. This is what you really need to know.
You don’t need to be running around at a millions miles per hour in order to love yourself.
You don’t need to get that promotion or even score that dream job. You don’t need to have settled down with the man and the white picket fence.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the Ikea-esque furnishings and latest iPhone – or the killer wardrobe and shoes.
By loving yourself, you don’t need to have completely harmonious relationships, push yourself more than you already do, or give more generous gifts.
What you need to do is love yourself in the moments when you’re defeated and broken. When you’re ready to throw in the towel, and call it a day. You have to love yourself even harder in those moments.
I want you to love yourself even if you ate that block of chocolate and you haven’t exercised in a month. Love yourself when you rock up solo to your friend’s wedding, wearing the same dress you wore to your cousin’s 21’st.
Love yourself when you’re counting down the days until your next holiday, because you can’t stand another day at work.
I hope you love yourself even when your pants don’t fit, when you forget to shower and shave your legs, and especially when you’re feeling unwell and plain old crap.
You don’t need everything to be right, or go a certain way to love yourself.
Love yourself regardless.
When you love yourself for the person that you are, and not for what you do, that’s when everything starts to feel much lighter and brighter. All the wonderful things that you want to happen – happen, because you value yourself enough. Not because you worked extra hours, or ticked everything off your to-do list, but because you love yourself, fully and unconditionally.
So can you do me a favour and love yourself a little bit more today? I promise, I’ll do the same. And then maybe we can commit to loving ourselves for the rest of our lives? If you love yourself exactly as you are – right now – I can guarantee that you will be in for a treat. It’s going to be a life-long romance and loving yourself will be the best thing you ever ‘did’.
PS. If you know someone that needs to read these words today, I would love for you to share it with them. Let’s spread the truth about self-love, because it all starts with one person, and that person is you.