What is love? I typed the word in Google (because that’s what we do these days) and a few definitions came up. First, “love” is defined from the perspective of a noun as an intense feeling of deep affection or a great interest and pleasure in something. Secondly, “love” is defined from the perspective of a verb to feel deep affection for or enjoy very much. That all sounds simple enough. But what about self-love?
Here I go again, typing into Google. Strangely there is no verb option this time, but “self-love” is defined from the perspective of a noun as a regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. It specifies by stating “self-love” is chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic.
(If you’re unfamiliar with the term narcissistic, it means a person who is obsessed with themselves to the point where they think the world revolves around them. I’m sure you know somebody who knows somebody like that. It ain’t you though.) 😉
You see, for most of us, it is very easy to love something or somebody. We love food (at least, I do). We love our hobbies, our vacation spots or even shows on TV. We love family members, our children, close friends, and even pets (if we have any). Depending on who it is (I have to be specific here) we may love someone unconditionally to the point where no matter what they say or do, we will always be right there. Think about that for a second.
How many times have you become aggravated, hurt or taken the fault for someone and yet, you still love them. Maybe you’ve even helped someone you love get out of trouble only to find them right back in the same situation over and over again. But you still love them.
Can you give yourself that same energy? 🤔
“You’re not perfect. I’m definitely not perfect. But our imperfections are what makes us special. You can grow from every mistake. Every time you lose you learn something. It is okay to get back up and try again.”
That’s what you would tell somebody else if they came to you broken and confused. So why don’t you look in the mirror and say those exact words. Love yourself enough to see beyond where you are right now. If you’re out there just telling people what they want to hear, do that for yourself too. You’re worthy of that same pick me up.
“Aw, you’re so stressed out. You’ve been working so hard. It’s been crazy lately. You need a break.” That’s what you tell them right? But what about you?
Do you love yourself enough to take a break or are you gonna go until you can’t go anymore? If you’re feeling great, than go ahead. But if you’re feeling damaged then I don’t recommend it. A broken down vehicle can only get so far before your stuck on the side of the road somewhere with your hazard lights on. Every light on the dashboard has been blinking and the gas meter is getting lower and lower. But you’re steady driving and get out of the car like everything is all good, time and time again. Can’t let them see the damaged you, right?
This is why self care is so important. Because whether we realize it or not, when you are damaged goods, it disturbs your atmosphere. That front you be putting on is see-through. It may be a little blurry but the people around you know what’s up. You know why? Because when you’re broken, you attract people just like you.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can offer yourself some love and watch your love for yourself shift the room. When this happens, you will see two things: (1) People will want to be around you more in order to feel that same feeling of wholeness, or (2) people will stop being around you because you’ve changed and they’re comfortable being broken.
However it goes, when you love yourself, you’re not even concerned with what THEY do. I’m not saying that you’re self-centered but you become more selfish with your space by respecting your peace. If something or somebody is disrupting your peace than whatever or whomever has got to go.
Self-love causes you to give attention and time for yourself. It’s personal. It makes you happy. It makes you feel good. It helps you escape. And I’m not talking about self-medicating. Better yet, let’s go there for a moment. And I’m not even gonna go to Google for this one because I know about it all too well.
You see, when you become sick or injured to the point where you have to be seen by a physician, you may be prescribed some type of medication to help relieve those feelings of congestion or pain. Even if you feel emotionally sick you can receive a prescription from a mental health provider.
But we like to play doctor on ourselves just like we did when we were kids. Except, we’ve added some Vodka to the kool-aid serum & the pills we’re taking make you jumpy like sweethearts but it ain’t the same candy you’d give a 5yr old. We used to pop a rubber band on your arm and pretend it was a shot. Now the rubber bands are wrapped around the arm to prep for these needles that may or may not be sterile.
What about overworking yourself to avoid facing your reality. People will spend long days and nights at work, or even church to avoid going home. You will eat until you feel sick to your stomach. You will cut until you pass out. Why? Because you don’t love yourself enough to do better.
Self-love is NOT about self medicating. It’s about healing the wounds that are broken. Using the pieces to put yourself back together and be the best that you can be no matter how many times you have to try again.
Some of you may feel like you can’t afford to love yourself. But even J-Lo said “love don’t cost a thing”. Social media has you thinking you need money to go to a spa, get your nails done or take a million vacations. Don’t get me wrong, those are amazing ways to feel good if you have the funds. But if you ain’t got like that there is no excuse for you to neglect yourself and disrespect your well-being by killing yourself slowly through self-medication.
You’re angry? Exercise! You’re depressed? Express that through a creative outlet like dancing, singing, writing or drawing! You’re tired? Take a nap or go to bed earlier! You’re confused? See a therapist or talk it out with someone you trust! You feel defeated? Take a look at how far you’ve come! Look in the mirror every chance you get and give yourself the credit that you deserve!
I used to do this with my students, and now I do it with my own kids. Whenever they do something good or they’ve completed a milestone, no matter how small it is, I tell them, “Pat yourself on the back and say go you!” Because you have to be your own sidekick sometimes. You have to encourage yourself.
The people around you may see through the front that you put on, but only a few of them are waiting for you to come from behind that front and transform into the better version of you. Those few need what the better you has to offer. Little do you know, you need it too. So what are you gonna do?
Money can buy a lot of things. However, there are a lot of people with a lot of money and a lot of things, but they’re lost. You better love yourself before you lose yourself. Love is the greatest gift. It’s free, but it’s not cheap. It’s actually very valuable. And you deserve it.
Don’t you agree?
Type “Yes” or put a heart ❤️ emoji in the comments if you’re committed to loving yourself more, unapologetically. I believe you can do it. After all, you are Strong & Gifted. 💪🏾👑
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It’s Queen G with Strong & Gifted coming from behind the pen to the mic. I want to motivate, educate and help you elevate yourself. If I do my part and you do your part, wee can all grow together. Now let’s get it!