Why Self Love Isn’t Actually About You
“Self love” is a wellness term as trendy as “matcha,” “adaptogens,” or “cryotherapy.” But the good thing about trends is that they don’t stay trends forever—they either die out or become ingrained in life as a cultural norm.
The latter is our hope for self love. How magical if all this talk around learning to love ourselves truly led to a macro mindset shift that allowed for body image, self degradation and internally-focused anxiety to be a thing of the past. A girl can dream, right?
But there’s one key to self love and self care that often goes unnoticed or unrecognized: the disconnect between this internal work and our external lives. The internal work becomes reclusive and even escapist. (Hey, retreats, where you have to leave your life to find balance.) We get so caught up in the “Self” part of these Self love ventures that we forget that we have to live in the outside world, often the one where we don’t feel 100% aligned with what the Self wants in these quiet alone moments.
Connecting the Experience of Self Love Out into the Real World
So, how do we connect the two? How do we take this internal Self—that we’re harvesting a relationship with and trying to love unconditionally—into the grit and grime of the real world. The Self, she’s so precious and fragile after all! And the world, so harsh! But, let’s spin that language: how do we take this imperfect Self that’s full of love and light out into the imperfect world that’s full of love and light?
That knowledge of your Self and your world, in all its pros and cons, positives and negatives, highs and lows, is only information for what is best about both and maybe where one needs the other. It’s where you start to hone in what your Self love rituals are.
Everyone should have their own unique practices for Self love and Self care. Just as the same nutrition or exercise program isn’t blanketly perfect for everyone, neither is finding what fuels your Self love. Figuring that out is part of getting to know your Self better and it can run the gamut of traditional or untraditional activities. Maybe one Self has a regiment of daily journaling and meditating (with other nuances in between) while another is all about roller derby and elaborate dinner parties. Knowing your practices then finding great ownership in them is step one. What are yours?
So maybe we have the Self love thing in a healthy working relationship but how do we start the connection process to the external? How do we bring it out into the world to not only stand confidently in that Self love but to also reap the internal, Self lovin’ benefits of putting yourself out there. How do we fuel our love of ourselves by our love of and connection to others?
Here are some actionable ways to get started and some predict-the-future pictures of what happens if you let yourself take your full Self love out for a walk.
A Self-Love Starter Guide
Talk about it.
If you need a few reminders about why you should love yourself, well we can’t exactly tell you. That’s why this is so tough—self love is incredibly personal and individualized. But talking about it, like all things, makes it easier to understand how we got from point A to point B. Like a mapping of your journey thus far.
That’s why self love became a “thing” that’s so often written about and talked about: we’re all searching for answers that only we, ourselves, can provide. But why can’t we learn from others along the way? So yes, you have to do the work to love yourself good and hard but maybe hearing about another’s path is going to provide you with more tools than you currently have on your own and forge a deeper connection with another person who’s on the same path as you (aren’t we all). Believe us, it’s better than small talk about the weather.
Let your true self shine.
Sure people are attracted to radiance, but they’re even more attracted to authenticity. (Usually authenticity becomes radiance!) Being able to recognize where your insecurities lie and then actively find ways to value them or find beauty in what you may see as a flaw is a big deal. And guess what, it’s an even bigger deal if you can share that with other people.
Maybe it’s other women at first, maybe it’s a partner down the road. Regardless, vulnerability is a delicate but oh-so-beautiful thing. Being open and real is where true human connection lies especially since there’s comfort in knowing you’re not going at it alone. You never know who you’re going to help by telling your story too or relating to someone.
Leap and the net will appear.
We love that old adage, and it’s true! Having more Self love leads to more confidence and with more confidence comes more assuredness. Your assuredness will lead to bigger leaps and reaping bigger rewards. Confidence means being grounded yet fluid, knowing that failure may be in the cards but you play them anyway because, guess what, you’re resilient and you will be fine. There’s inherently action in confidence and it will only spread your love in many ways, from small interactions to big bounds of faith.
When those negative people or energies jostle your mojo and interrupt your flow you’ll know exactly what you need to do to get back to yourself. Like confidence, there is action in being grounded and balanced that only serves as an example to others. We’ve seen it before: an interaction between two people becomes tense and one explodes and the other maintains grace and composure. And hell yeah, that steady calm makes a statement compared to uncontrolled eruption. Yeah, get mad, but there’s almost a sophomoric, petulant quality to the eruption versus the mature, grounded calm. Operating from that place of Self love not only brings you back to center but that energy is tangible to others who may also be off.
Treat others better to treat treat yourself better.
Remember The Golden Rule? Treat others how you would like to be treated. Same goes for yourself. Think of a time you’ve accidentally snapped at someone or had a day where you felt the universe was against you. Maybe you were the one who erupted. Sure, those days can just randomly happen but often we can mindfully trace our outward “ugh!” moment back to a specific instance that tickled an insecurity or set off self-defense alarm bells. Our physical selves are not only how we experience and absorb the world’s energy but it also projects that same energy back out to the world. Often our outwards judgements are a reflection of what’s going on internally and in every situation a little bit of forgiveness or empathy can go a long way. In the most wise of words, check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Positivity is contagious.
Negativity, even if you don’t say it out loud, is going to manifest itself in some way and that will be put out into the world for others to experience, catch or absorb. It doesn’t feel good to be negative and it’s stressful in the most simple, chemical ways. (Let’s keep that cortisol at bay, sister.) Even though negativity can feel easy it certainly doesn’t feel good and isn’t in the natural order to thrive.
A New Picture of Self Love
Let’s toss out the idea that your inner Self is so fragile that it must be healed and loved in isolation. Instead, let’s talk about our Selves as the tough and resilient spirits we know we are.
Even better, let’s show it.
Let’s bring it to the world.
After all, the outside world is just a bunch of Selves trying to survive. It doesn’t have to be that binary though—every thing of human creation that you find pleasure, happiness or positivity in will most likely have a Self behind it, meaning another person that’s given of themselves to make something that way. For every natural thing that you find that same joy in there’s most likely someone that enjoys that same grounding hike or lakeside view that you could share in that with. Your Self isn’t meant to exist in a vacuum and so much of that Self love discovery and cultivation is only going to exist and thrive when it’s brought out into the world when there is connection and action attached to it to perpetuate it.
Your self does a million things for you without asking, just by knowing. It simultaneously asks for nothing in return and when it continues to get nothing it still serves you.
Meaning, love yourself purely to love yourself.
Then share that love.
Positivity and happiness are naturally built into love and why not cloak your yourself in that beautiful brightness?
Hopefully we only continue to talk about Self love (and most importantly practice it!) not only as a wellness hot topic but as a true reminder of its importance. We hope that self love is so perpetuated that we spread it to our children as the most normal and basic part of life and culture.
It starts from within. Let’s get there. Because how beautiful would it be to watch that Self love connect to every other beating heart and watch how it fuels the world?