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Chasing love has never done me any good. I think of all the times I have expected other people to tend to my needs, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I realize the whole time I was missing one ingredient, self love. I get it. Most of us don't want to brave this world alone. We seek camaraderie. We want someone to share a life with. And it's perfectly okay to desire and achieve those things. However, I think one thing we all miss sometimes is loving ourselves first, because how can you expect to give something to someone that you don't already have for yourself? And we're all human! The ugly truth is that people cannot meet all of your needs all of the time. There are going to be times when you have to truly love you!
And there are ways we can do that. Below, I have a few thoughts and tips on how to practice self love.
1. Meeting Your Basic Needs
Okay, I know this one is a given, but think about it. Regardless of your relationship status, it can be very easy to get so caught up in everyday life that you forget something as simple as brushing your teeth! Make sure you start the day off with some sort of regimen to take care of yourself. And listen, I'm not immune to forsaking self care. I've been consumed by day to day life, and I've also had to remind myself to take care of me first. So don't forget to keep yourself in check before you take care of your other day to day responsibilities!
2. Self Care
This goes beyond the basics of brushing your teeth or changing your underwear every day. What I like to do when I need a little TLC is give myself a facial and paint my nails, or maybe go for a jog to get my mind off of things. Depending on what you like to do, self care could range from getting out the popcorn and watching a movie, or taking yourself shopping. Whatever it is, make sure that you are nurturing yourself.
3. Find things about you that you love.
It doesn't have to be anything huge. But maybe look in the mirror and list three things you love—or at least like about yourself. For example, whenever I think about things I absolutely love about myself, the things that come to mind are:
- I love that I am quirky and energetic.
- I love my passion for writing.
- And a physical feature that I really love about myself are my green eyes.
Regardless of whether or not you subscribe to a religion, it's important to be in touch with who you are on the inside. Because once you grip the idea that who you are has more to do with your inner being than outer, it will be much harder for you to base your existence off of the validation of others. For me, that's Christianity. Personally, my relationship with God is more important than what people think of me. God tells me who I am, and God embraces me for me. I'm not here to try to convert you, or tell you that going to church on a Sunday morning will magically fix everything, but I encourage you to search beyond what you see in the mirror. You have a beautiful mind and soul, and as steward of your own life, it's your responsibility to nurture your inner self. That could be prayer, reading a self-help book, or even journaling your thoughts everyday. But in order to give yourself the love that you are worthy of, you have to start on the inside.
Now you must be thinking: "You make it sound so easy!" But I did not get like this over night. It has taken me a while to learn how to love and appreciate myself when no one else would. So be patient with yourself—even if you have to start out little. Just remember that no one can take this journey but you.