Self-love is becoming more and more prominent, especially over social media. It’s becoming a movement that no one can ignore, but what is self-love? It is defined as the regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. What does that mean exactly? It means learning to love who you are and what you do, for the sake of yourself. It can be learning to love your body as it is, realizing your strengths and accepting/or (safely) improving your flaws.
Self-love is portrayed as a warm, fuzzy and comfortable movement, and it is the majority of the time. But what do you do when you struggle with self-love? What if you have learned and grown and changed your mindset and still do not love certain aspects of your body or personality? Do you continue straining yourself trying to force the love you keep seeing and reading about and desperately want?
An important message often missing from the self-love movement is so simple yet almost always overlooked. It’s okay to not love everything about yourself.
It can be difficult, but realizing how you truly feel about yourself can be life changing. You don’t have to love your stretch marks, acne or laugh that’s a little too loud. Acceptance is enough. Accepting who you are and what you stand for is enough. More than enough. Forcing love will never have a positive outcome. Deciding to love yourself after you drop that extra 5 lbs or after you get that promotion you’ve been dying to get at work is not self-love. These will lead to feelings of disappointment, failure, and self-hatred, causing turmoil and destruction to your mental health, physical health and overall well being.
Self-love should be viewed as loving yourself at your own pace, for your own reasons. It should be feeling confident, embracing your weirdness and striving to be happy. The idea that you HAVE TO love yourself completely, 100%, 24/7 is maddening. You might already love yourself, be a work in progress or just starting your self-love journey. The important thing to remember is: you are worthy of love, from everything and everyone, including yourself.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”
– Brené Brown
**As written for Ethereal & Co‘s Contributor Program**