What is self-love? The obvious meaning would be love for one’s self. Yes, that is correct but let’s go deeper. According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. How does that look in real life experiences? I will explain below and share a few of my experiences. 

First, self-love begins with you. It’s begins in you. Regardless of what’s going on in the world and closely around you, God made you and He made you perfect

There are so many women who don’t like something about themselves. I’m one of them and I believe it’s natural to feel that way. However, it becomes unhealthy when our life is consumed by our physical appearance. Like, how fat our arms are, how wide our nose is, how small our butt is or how fat our stomach is. And when we’re scrolling down our timeline on social media, it doesn’t help that we are constantly bombarded with women who seemingly look extremely perfect. It makes us, or I will speak for myself; it makes me feel a little self-conscious and I begin to compare myself.

Comparison is the thief of peace, joy and happiness. But, it also lets me know what I need to work on. Slim arms and a flat stomach takes work. A nice body won’t happen on its own. It takes intention. A change in my eating habits and adding an exercise routine is what will get me the results I want. lol I can’t change my nose through lifestyle changes but I have accepted that God made it that way and it makes me who I am. 

Second, you can’t receive or give love until you first love yourself. When you love yourself, you make room to love others and for them to love you. When you love you, you realize that only you can make you happy. Your happiness isn’t found in someone else...not your boyfriend, husband or even your children.

In the initial stages of dating this guy, I would always tell myself that he didn’t make me happy. There were even times when he’d tell me that he felt like he didn’t make me happy. Years later after we broke up, I had an epiphany. It wasn’t his responsibility to make me happy, it was mine. Once I realized that, my entire perspective on relationships changed. Even if my significant other wasn’t doing what I expected of him, that didn’t change how I felt because at the end of the day, I had control over my thoughts and emotions, hence my happiness.

Your happiness also isn’t found in material things like your car, house, bank account or your clothes. If they do, you will always find yourself trying to keep up with the Joneses...never satisfied. The Bible says to be content with what we have because God gives us exactly what we need when we need it. He also gives us exactly what we show him we can handle. So, if you don’t have that house or car you want or your bank account isn’t where you would like it to be, try accepting where you are and being happy there. Happy people are healthy and whole people. 

Finally, self-love requires self-care (check out our post on self-care). You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t give what you don’t have. We as women are by nature, nurturers and lovers. We want to take care of others at the expense of neglecting ourselves. We sacrifice who we are, our desires and goals for our husbands and our kids. We even work in careers that lack fulfillment or passion.

There was a point in my life where I gave of myself in a relationship and sometimes got nothing in return. I acted like a whole wife and I wasn’t even a girlfriend yet. I sacrificed my needs to meet the needs of someone else. Even doing things that were so out of character for me. It wasn’t until I realized that I deserved more and much better. My time mattered and was important to me and I wasn’t going to continue wasting it on someone who didn’t appreciate or reciprocate it. I mattered. 

In ending, self-love starts and ends with you. You are loved. You are beautiful. You are worthy. You are smart. You are YOU. 

Thumbnail Photo - WhatSavvySaid - Self-Love and What It Means



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