“Loving yourself has nothing to do with being selfish, self-centered or self-engrossed. It means that you accept yourself for what you are. Loving yourself means that you accept responsibility for your own development, growth and happiness. When you love yourself, you pave the way for all you want and need to come to you at the right time in the perfect way.” — Iyanla Vanzant
The relationship I have with myself is the most important and longest relationship I will ever have, therefore it’s imperative that I love myself. I’m a work in progress for sure and yet the truth is I genuinely like and love who I am as a person. I would be friends with me. I’ve been given a lot of grace throughout the years on my journey to self love because loving myself wasn’t something I grew up learning how to do. I thought putting myself first was selfish but as Auntie Vanzant wisely stated, it’s actually being self-full.
Being self-full didn’t and, at times still doesn’t, come easy for me. I grew up with an understanding that you put others needs and wants before yours. When I first started working on me it was uncomfortable for me and for the people in my life. Sometimes it’s still that way. But it’s getting easier everyday. I remember in my early 20s I was reading a book on setting boundaries which, I believe is a part of self love. I was ready to start setting more boundaries. I told my best friend about it. She agreed that I needed to work on that and told me she supported me. Later that day she wanted me to do something with her but I really didn’t want to so, I said no. She was shocked. I reminded her that I’m setting boundaries and she said “yes but not with me, I don’t like it.” I realized then that I have to take care of myself regardless of who likes it. I stood my ground. That’s still one of my favorite moments with her.
I don’t think I will ever master self love because there’s always more about me that I’m still learning. Also, life seems to offer up situations and lessons that let me know I have more to learn. Loving myself is a daily practice that I am intentional about. Being kind to myself, taking care of my body, accepting who I am, forgiving myself and laughing at myself are some of the ways I work at self love. I try to start my mornings just focused on me before I go out into the world and end my night the same. The best part of this is that I feel whole. I don’t look for others to fill a void or to make me happy. I accept responsibility for your own development, growth and happiness. I will continue to fill my cup up first and what spills over will be for the people in my life and it will be so sweet, I promise.
Love is self-full. Love yourself. Work in progress. Daily practice. Give yourself the love you need and want.