What does it mean to truly love yourself? To me, loving yourself means taking care of you: body, mind, and soul. And doing whatever you n...

Self-Love Defined

What does it mean to truly love yourself? To me, loving yourself means taking care of you: body, mind, and soul. And doing whatever you need to do to keep those 3 things in balance. It requires treating yourself with respect, thinking kindly about yourself, and listening to all 3 parts of your being. I know all of that sounds a bit impossible most of the time, especially if you're a parent or caregiver and you spend most of your time looking after someone else. But how can you care for another person if you don't first take care of yourself? And why else should you care about loving yourself? To be happy of course! And who doesn't want to be happier? I don't know a single happy person that doesn't take care of themselves. I think loving yourself is a requirement of happiness.

We spend so much time just trying to "get by." Work, kids, clean, eat, sleep, repeat. It's easy to get caught up in that cycle and sometimes forget to have fun, to remember that life is a journey and we need to be enjoying ourselves, even in daily, routine life. Sometimes it may even take us awhile to realize something is wrong. That we're miserable and why we are. Usually when I take the time to figure out what's bothering me, I discover that I'm not taking enough time for myself, not doing something I need to do to be happy, or just not being nice to myself. I struggle sometimes often with feeling like I'm enough, that I'm good enough, that I'm doing enough for everyone around me. And when I don't feel like I am, my thoughts turn negative. Thinking awful things about myself only furthers my depression. But when I'm being mindful of this, I can break the cycle before it starts or worsens at least. I have to stop the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. I must constantly remind myself that I am always doing as much as I feel able and to forgive myself for those days when I don't do everything I expected (especially since my expectations of myself are often unrealistic).

Taking time for yourself, working hard at turning around negative thoughts, trying to love yourself, it's all really hard work. But it's worth it for even brief moments of true happiness. The key is in making your happiness a priority. Once you do this, many other things in your life will start changing in ways you won't anticipate, but you'll be pleasantly surprised when they happen. It's karma; if you're putting good, positive, happy energy out into the world, you're much more likely to receive that in return than if you're angry, depressed, or negative all the time. So even if it's a struggle right now to try and love yourself, think of it as a gift to your future self who will thank you when all the goodness starts flowing into your life. It'll be all sparkles and rainbows and butterflies....

Okay, okay, of course that last bit is a pipe dream. We'd all like to believe that karma is real and we'll receive as much love as we've given. And there are days I do believe it is real. But then there are days when the world takes a fat dump on you and it can set you back a lot, make you wonder why you bothered trying to be positive in the first place. But we have to experience bad days so we can appreciate all the good ones. Hopefully you've had moments of true happiness in your life to look back on when it's a bad day, and remember how good it felt. Then you'll remember that it is worth your effort to make your own happiness a priority.

Self-love is putting your feet in the sand :)


  1. I have sure had my share of bad days and struggles and really makes me appreciate what I have now! Great read!