So many buzz words, not enough time. Some of them offer no substance other than click bait, but one of the movements which has really resonated with many women is that of self acceptance and self-love. In a world which attempts to force us all into a box or so called “standard”, loving yourself as you are can sometimes be seen as a revolutionary act, especially if you occupy a Black body. So this week on the blog, I will be sharing some of the things I wish I had known MUCH sooner about self-love. Have a read, take a closer step into loving yourself and happy Monday!
Your Self-Love Will Evolve
The body I had and didn’t appreciate when I was 21, will never return to me- no matter what I may try to do or the amount of salads I may consume, it’s not going to happen. And to be honest, that’s fine by me, I don’t want to be her anymore- the battle scars I have in this soon to be 38 year old body is by far a much better upgrade. But the “love” I felt for myself back then isn’t the same as it is now. The age, has given me wisdom ( hopefully ), but also perspective and an appreciation for the work that my body does in order to keep me alive and healthy. So although I may look in the mirror at the sagging breasts and the stretch marks and not so smooth stomach, I look at it all with a sense of deep love. It is a tapestry of my story and only one I can tell. This isn’t the way I have always felt and that’s fine. It isn’t always about fully loving and accepting everything, about your body, sometimes it’s simply not hating it. Simply not saying negative words to yourself, resifting how you think and find the things you DO love about yourself. We are not carved out of stone, we are not meant to be “perfect sculptures” of a projected and skewed image of beauty. You will evolve and the way you feel about your body will as well, mostly because we were never meant to be stagnant.
Note to Self:@toridacosta_
You don’t have to be good enough for people to love you. Be good enough for yourself, for you to love you.
As a people pleaser, I will admit this one was a tough one for me, whether it’s also because I’m Canadian, but if I am not able to meet someone’s needs, I am always apologizing for it. “Sorry, I don’t have time today”, “sorry I can’t make the meeting”, “sorry I am too tired”. This used to fill me up with guilt, for not being everything for everyone, but the truth of the matter is after doing and being all for others, on a quiet evening alone, who reaches out to me? So, I began looking a the ways I wasn’t reinforcing my boundaries, assessing the ways in which I was allowing others to step over said boundaries of simply rolling back from the walls I have built. Saying no to things, be it activities or to people is still self-love. Setting and reinforcing your boundaries does not diminish from your value, in some ways it’s adds to it. Anything that forces you to be less of yourself, is damaging to you- doing things that aren’t true or authentic to you. So, I write this for myself as much as for someone else. Do you and only you, if it doesn’t work, say it. For a while I thought if I was the person someone wanted me to be, they wouldn’t leave me or they would remain interested. But no more bowing your head and quietly accepting all of the pressure. It may not feel good all the time, but at the end of the day, you can lay your head down at night and know that you have done the very best you can and that you did it all while remaining true to the person that you are.
Self-care is health care.
There Is No Quick Fix
The road to moving yourself isn’t a straight line, these days, everyone loves a good hack or a “5 steps to this” set up, but the truth is- there is no quick way to loving yourself. It takes work, it takes rethinking and resifting the way you see yourself. It takes acceptance. Most of all, it takes not comparing and not looking at others as if they are you. You are 1 of 1, simply put. Be it your physical appearance or what you offer emotionally. Loving yourself is a path you have to commit to, on a daily basis. In some ways you have to curate your life so that you are constantly reiterating that message to yourself. Be it the posts which you come across on your social media feed, to the comments your family and friends make, to the words you repeat to yourself. If it means you have to block out some of that negative noise, then you need to do so for the betterment of your own mental well-being. There is nothing wrong with doing some shedding, especially if it’s for your own self-love. You are always worth it.