>> Self Love Saturday << I Googled "Self Love" >>
It's been two weeks since I've had something to say. Every time I had a flash of inspiration, the voice in my head would shoot it down. Nothing I wrote was good enough. My ideas were either too boring or too cheesy. My heart wanted to write, but my brain told me my thoughts weren't worthy. Needless to say, my self-esteem has been low. Some days doing my best means I just make it out of bed before noon. One of the lessons I have the most difficulty with is to not be so hard on myself during these down days. It's okay to practice self-care and let life slow down.
Unconditional self-love is not something that is taught in school, although maybe it should. I feel like I've had a false sense of what it means to be "productive." Constantly staying busy may allow you to accomplish many tasks, but there is no point in setting goals if you don't allow yourself to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Being "productive" can mean pumping the brakes on projects and instead focusing on family, friends, and mental health. I have finally come to the realization that as long as I am trying my best, I am a successful person. I am the type of person who has a strong inner-critic. I set expectations for my relationships and my career. I always tell myself that I could have worked harder at something or that I am not doing enough. Recently though, I have had a huge perception shift. My accomplishments do not define me. The voice in my head isn't always right. I deserve to be happy and loved just the way I am. Everyone does. This is so simple, but it has taken my whole life to put it into words. I know that I deserve happiness, but to accept it as truth is a daily practice.
Google defines self-love as, "regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than a narcissistic characteristic)." Can you imagine how different life would be if everyone you knew were in love with themselves? Some people might think that I am crazy, but what I think is crazy is that I live in a society where people aren't taught it's okay to be in love with yourself. Google made sure to include that self-love is "a desirable rather that narcissistic characteristic." It is a sad reflection of how humans think when the very definition of self-love contains a reminder that one should "desire" to have this trait, instead of viewing it as a "narcissistic characteristic."
You do not need permission to love yourself. You do not need to be doing anything other than what you are doing right at this exact moment to be accepted and respected. Take yourself on a date. Buy yourself flowers, dinner, or a plane ticket. If you want to post a duck lip selfie, do it. Do not let society, your work, or another person define you. I say this to you and I say this to myself. If anything is stopping you from loving yourself, let it go. Remember, the voice in your head can be wrong. We all deserve to feel at home in our own skin and soul. We are all enough, just the way we are. #selflovesaturday Thank you for reading! Much love, Rachael Arias xx