What does self love mean?
You hear this term all the time (especially from me) but what does it really mean? In order to truly love yourself it is imperative to understand what exactly that means. The truth is it can mean so many different things to each individual person. It can broadly be defined as "a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth." It means valuing yourself, every single part of you, it means making yourself a priority and doing the things that make you feel good!
The truth of it all though is that that is not always easy. Maybe you are a college student and believe you need to be someone else to fit in and be liked by your friends. Maybe you are a single woman and believe you need to be in a relationship to be valued among your group of married friends. Maybe you are married without children and constantly feel judged for not having them. Maybe you have spent years trying to have children, and feel less than because your body is not on the same page as your mind. Maybe you are a young parent and feel as though you have lost yourself through bearing a child, or breast feeding, or the sleepless nights. Maybe you have older children and feel as though you are a taxi service or a maid and your life needs to revolve around the lives of your children. Maybe you are an empty nester and have all the time in the world for you but don't know what to do with it after a lifetime of being something for everyone else. No matter the stage of life you are in it is hard! Finding the time or drive to love yourself is hard!
For me personally after having children I felt as though I had "lost" myself. What does that even mean?? How on earth could I have lost myself, when I was living in my own god damn body. I have come to the realization that I don't really like that term "losing yourself". But alas that is how I felt, and how I have recently realized a lot of new moms feel. My body did not feel like my own, my mind did not feel like my own, everything I did revolved around these little humans and keeping them alive. The reality of all of these feelings is that I did not love myself. I was so focused on everyone around me and what they needed that I took the back burner. And the longer I didn't care for myself the worse I felt, the further 'down the hole' I went. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, I wanted to stay home with my kids. I was living my dream... so why was I not happy? In reality I didn't lose myself, I just changed. My values changed, what I wanted to do changed, and change is good!! Change can be so rewarding, change can open up so many new doors. Doors you didn't even know existed. After taking a long hard look at myself I slowly started giving myself more love. For me personally it started with a camera, giving me a medium to have something for me. That grew into starting a business. and meeting so many amazing people. Ultimately leading me to this new passion of wanting to set an example and help all women love themselves. All because I started to give some time to me. Trust me 3, 4, 5, heck 10 years ago if you would have asked me where I thought I would be today I would 100% not have said writing a blog post about self love. It is truly amazing how starting with something so small can grow and grow and grow.
It started with my psychological well being, and from there it has continued to spiral into loving my physical self. Now here I am loving myself, and every single thing about me. I am a successful business woman, I take time for me and I truly LOVE everything about me. So how do I do it? I love myself by putting my daughter in dayhome to give me alone time. I love myself by drinking my water and eating healthy. I love myself by eating chips and not feeling guilty about it. I love myself by writing. I love myself by listening to podcasts and watching you tube videos about business and educating myself as much as I can. I love myself by taking leaps and not letting my fears hold me back. I love myself by taking evenings off and spending that quality time with my family. I love myself by taking my dog for a walk. I love myself by phone calls with friends (and hopefully hanging out with them soon). I love myself by standing in front of the mirror and seeing beauty rather than rolls and stretch marks. I love myself by seeing those scars as my amazing children and how much joy they bring me. I love myself by being positive, even in the shitty situations. I LOVE MYSELF and I really really want you to have this feeling!
Maybe my story resonates with you or maybe it doesn't. Maybe you still knew who you were after kids, maybe you don't have kids, maybe your kids were little many years ago. Your life story is yours it is unique to you in the same way that loving yourself is unique to you. Loving yourself may mean going for a walk or it may mean watching Netflix. Loving yourself may mean staying home and raising your kids, or it may mean going to work. Loving yourself may mean being in a relationship with someone you love or it may mean doing life on your own. Loving yourself may mean having kids or it may mean not. Loving yourself may mean travelling the world or it may mean staying close to home. What does it mean to you? What can you do today however big or small to love yourself? I challenge you to start today! Start loving yourself by doing something small and watch it grow, watch your life change. Seriously just do it!
Thanks for reading
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