Love Thyself. Self-Love. What does that mean to you? People sometimes think of it as selfishness, being self-absorbed, but we think of it more like self-compassion and alongside self-care. Have you ever felt distraught when hearing the words “You just have to love yourself a little more”? If only it were that simple.
It’s something we all have the capacity for within ourselves, but it’s not always taught to us as children. Aside from scholastic learning and following our interests, we’re usually most often taught things that keep us safe: ‘Stay away from strangers’ ‘Don’t touch that’ ‘Don’t go there’.
Some people are lucky to also learn things like “Be happy with who you are”, “What good thing did you do today, big or small?”, “Are you proud of yourself, I sure am”. These are the types of affirmations that help us feel that wholesomeness and love within ourselves. You have the power to expand that capacity no matter how old you are – and you can even start today!
These current times are tough, no doubt about that. Not knowing which way the world is going, what are we allowed to do, how do we see friends and family as safely as possible? What’s next? When will it end? Now is the time to get in tune with our bodies, ask ourselves, “What is it that I need to get by?” As much as support from others is great, we also need to know what support means for ourselves and in what ways we can lean on ourselves safely and be there for that inner child within us all. It can be hard to even know what support looks like, and everyone is different.
Bringing awareness to it helps us learn about ourselves and about our own boundaries and needs.
Some things you ask to get in touch with your inner self:
- What are my goals?
- Are those goals really what I want? (or what I think I should want?)
- Can I rely on myself? (Do I do the things I say I will? Do I know what my boundaries and needs are?)
- What do the words ‘happiness’ and ‘fulfillment’ mean to me?
- What am I longing to experience?
- Other than time or money, what do I want more of in my life?
Or come up with your own!
When taking time to think about questions like these, and giving yourself the space to and time to reflect on your life, you are already taking a huge step towards focusing on your wants and needs. Remember that self love is not selfish – you cannot pour from an empty cup!
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you”
– Rupi Kaur
Written by a Trip! Peer, Nicole Notter