Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It is sanity – Katrina Mayer.
As I read the words I typed four years ago, I can’t believe I’m the same person. I feel as though I have gone backwards a little bit, fell back into the hole of unappreciation for myself rather than self-love. Not that I hate myself by any means. I just don’t feel as though I give myself the time to genuinely think about the things I love about myself. Every second of the day is filled with what do I need to do now? What blog posts need writing/scheduling/photographing/sharing? How are my friends and family? The dishes need to be washed. The house needs to be cleaned. I need to watch Next In Fashion so that I can relax. I wonder what to have for tea. Have I got enough petrol? Where is my bank card? That is my thread of thoughts on a day-to-day basis. Actually doing something that is reflective or mindful doesn’t come into the equation which is why I deeply miss going to my Barre Balance classes in Liverpool. It was that one hour once or twice a week when I really reflected on myself, how I was feeling inside and out, rather than having my mind on a constant hamster wheel.
I read that open letter from 2016 and I see the same things that I see throughout the entire world – somehow self love has evolved to loving your own physical appearance, your body shape and your skin tone as well as every lump and bump and curve, or how hard you work to achieve your goals and your dreams. What about the everyday things that you love about yourself? Things like having a wild imagination that is colourful and bright; knowing that you’re a good friend; having a passion for something that gives you a happiness like no other. What about loving how you are intelligent and amazing at the job you’re in right now, or being a risk taker and letting things happen as they see fit? These are the things that I want to focus on a little more: my achievements, my quirks and my personality – the things that make me who I am. Another thing I want to enjoy is what I have going for myself right now as well as striving for the future too.
Self love is hard work. I certainly lost the love for myself a few months ago. I hated my body. I hated the way I felt about myself. I hated what I looked like. Perhaps hate is a strong word. The fact is I lost that piece of love that I give to everybody else and I actively drained it before I let myself take a sip. Self love means that you have to get up every day and tell yourself positive things. It’s saying no to something that you don’t agree with. It’s standing up for yourself and those around you. It’s putting yourself first and looking out for number one. It is not something that just comes along and sweeps you off your feet. You have to put the effort in and switch something in your brain so that you learn to love every aspect of yourself, the good and even the bad. Nobody’s perfect.
So when you think of Valentine’s Day this year and get swept up in the romance, the pink balloons, the hearts, the teddies and everything else, remember to make a little bit of time for yourself and think about the things that make you feel true to yourself as well as happy inside and out.
Love, Faye xo