Happiness means loving yourself and being less concerned with the approval of others – Owen Campbell Jnr.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is all about sharing the love with your friends, family, other halves and most importantly: yourself. We always tend to forget about that last person during the general sweep of flowers and roses that fill the shops at every turn. When you’re happily in a relationship, like I am this year, you tend to forget about the judging and the loathing of the over-commercialised holiday – is it even classed as a holiday?! However, when you’re single, it’s all you can think about. It’s either, I’m alone again this year or Why do people seriously bother with celebrating their love on one day? The latter is true: why do people all over the world join together in celebration of love on this one day? However, that is not the issue in today’s post. Like I said: this one is all about you. Yourself.
For me, I love myself. I can say it without the fear of being thought of as self-absorbed or selfish or any other kind of word that starts with “self”. I have made decisions in my life that have opened doors for me to new life experiences and in the process, I have made others think a little different of me. I ended things with a certain someone because it wasn’t right for me any more, and I ultimately wasn’t happy at that point in time. It was horrible, heart-breaking and hard for the both of us, but I needed that space in order to put myself first and do what I wanted to do. In that time I lived abroad, I partied, I travelled, I became a shot girl, I did everything I needed to do as a single person. It wasn’t about flirting with guys and not feeling guilty – it was about putting myself first and doing things my way. Now, three years later, I am back together with said person after reconnecting last summer. You may be thinking that won’t work or you’re going backwards. Believe me, I’ve heard it all before, and do you know what? We both had our scepticisms. Our loved ones were dubious and ultimately thinking of our best interests – I’m going to Australia this year whilst he’s in London building his career – How’s it going to work? We’re figuring it out. Together.
That confession, or piece of history, might seem ironic for this post about loving yourself and looking out for number one. I fell back in love with somebody, but that doesn’t mean that I love myself any less. If anything, I am letting my true feelings show; our feelings can change over time. Sometimes they disappear, at other times they shine right through the cracks. I’m letting myself be me and I’m not fighting it any more. Isn’t that what loving yourself is all about?
Of course, loving yourself isn’t just about letting someone else love you just as much. We live in a world of social media and filters, where getting what you want can happen – through dedication and hard work – a little bit easier than it used to. We can write what we want to write online for free and our voices are being heard. Nevertheless, that comes with a downside: internet trolls, forever comparing yourself and being your own biggest critic. I am fully aware that I compare myself to bloggers who have worked their ass off to make it in the online world. Some of them are the same age as me or younger. I’m still in my first year of blogging regularly, and even though I haven’t had any brands contact me for a collaboration or I never get more than 1000 views in one month, I’m still happy that I’m doing my own thing and getting my voice out there. It doesn’t mean that it’s not hard, or that I don’t try. Sometimes, I just like to sit in bed and write what I want to write about. And that makes me happy.
It’s the same as comparing your looks to somebody else’s. I have been doing that recently, because we all have blips in our self-appreciating lives with thoughts like: she’s way prettier than me, why are my eyebrows never that on-fleek?, how is her face so perfect?, her body is uh-mazing… We all think that. Every single one of us, every single day. At the end of the day, she might have better eyebrows that you, but that girl in question might think that her nose is wonky or her lips are too thin. It’s a vicious circle: we all have our doubts and things about ourselves that we don’t like. Even Beyoncé probably has days when she’s not feeling too hot. It shouldn’t be about comparing yourself to your friends, your peers, your inspirations; it should be about learning to see the good qualities in yourself and what you can give the world. We all have our USPs – we just need to find them and appreciate them.
Being kind to yourself has to be at the number one spot on your priority list. It is ultimately you, yourself, who can make a difference to the happiness in your life. Whether you are in a relationship or not, it is you who has hold of all of your cards – kind of like your personal tarot cards of destiny.
Has this post inspired you to appreciate yourself that little bit more? Do you compare yourself to others, and have you found love alongside loving yourself too?
Love, Faye x