In a world that is becoming lonelier as the days pass by, we often forget that we will always have ourselves to count on despite the things that go wrong. Time and again, the ideas surrounding self-love have crept up in our minds, it is impossible for it to not, surfing through any social media platform, we are bound to come across at least one post or article about self-love. Whether willingly or unwillingly, we fall prey to the posts talking about self-love and self-care through rose-tinted glasses. Remember how in the Netflix movie, “Nappily Ever After”, the protagonist, after a terrible accident at the hair salon, discovers that she isn’t living her life to the fullest and goes on to completely shave her head, how a seemingly minute bad haircut led her the realization that she’s been living on other’s terms? This movie has been often been suggested as the epitome of self-love and while there is no contradicting the aspect of self-love it aims to showcase, I am inclined to believe that it only reinforces the idea that self-love can be achieved through a small, temporary change and essentially that’s been the idea all along. There is no denying the impact of small changes in the bigger picture, but its romanticization is worrisome. Self-love has somehow taken a controversial and superficial turn when all it was meant to do was help one recognize their worth and remind them that it was okay to put themselves first.
We have been molded to believe that self-love looks like lavender candles, hot chocolates, bath bombs, and expensive trips to the mall and while sometimes, it is all of it, most of the time is fighting against our mind to accept ourselves, as we are. There is no fixed definition of self-love and there should never be, it isn’t a linear path that can be followed and it definitely doesn’t come with a guidebook. It is a journey, a long and possibly difficult one at that and even then, it doesn’t guarantee a cent percent success rate. It is evolving, unlearning, and learning again, being kind and compassionate towards yourself and knowing when, where, and how much to push yourself, it’s also laughing at and letting yourself cry when the going gets tougher. Self-love is knowing that you are going to be fine and your bad days are not your essence. It is like an epiphany that makes you see yourself in a new and much more flattering light. The end is at least much happier if not one hundred percent happier.
Apart from the philosophies of self-love, it has been proved scientifically that people who liked themselves were much happier and less dependent on external factors for their happiness. They were more resilient to the challenges and problems they faced and the recovery rate from a setback was much faster. Self-love also happens to be a greater personal motivator than self-doubt and has often been associated with a novel, creative, and energetic working pattern. As an added benefit, self-love has also been linked to better mental health as well as better physical health and promotes stress reduction and emotional regulation, equipping people with better life skills and an ability to deal with daily challenges in a pertinent manner. Besides, who wouldn’t like waking up every day, with energy and vigor for life, feeling confident about yourself in a world that is plagued with self-doubt.
Loving yourself isn’t occasionally showering yourself with a lavish sugar feast and taking a really long hot bath, it is making sure that you wash your face every day and drink enough water. Amy Pence Brown once said, in a world which profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act, it indeed is.
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