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Dear Self...

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Dear Self...

Loving Yourself in Tough Times

This term, “self-love” has been floating around the internet; and it’s not a new term. It has become a term that many people use when they are trying to talk about caring for oneself, and really just, loving yourself more. However, self-love does not come naturally to everyone, especially in tough times like the Black Mirror-esque 2020 we are currently experiencing.

Why should you care about loving yourself?

You should have heard a variation of a quote that goes something along the lines of “Love yourself before you love others.” It is difficult to attribute this quote to any great thinker because it has been used so often in books, movies, and even songs; because it’s true. Before being able to build a meaningful and open relationship with another person, it is important for us to have that relationship with ourselves first. That would entail understanding our own needs and emotions, loving ourselves enough that we care about these needs and emotions, and therefore to work on addressing them. That is self-love. And this is an important step to allow someone to know you truly and to have a meaningful relationship – this applies to all kinds of relationships, whether it’s friends, lovers, or family. When you love yourself more, you are learning to show more compassion and gratitude to yourself for everyday things.

Through practising that, you start to appreciate yourself more and that leads to a generally more optimistic outlook.

Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People, Do

This is why it’s especially important to show yourself a bit more love in tough times. We are living in unprecedented times of chaos, pain, and tragedies. But how many of us ask what it means to be “tough”? Does it mean not crying or just solving an issue on the surface and ignoring that chip on your shoulder that might be there forever?

There are many schools of thought of what being tough means, and we like to think “self-love” is definitely one way. Maybe you’re someone who thinks that their problems are just specks of dust in the universe, and therefore their problems and pains are trivial in the grander scheme of things, but self-love reminds you that pain is not relative.

You are entitled to your own feelings and emotions, and there shouldn’t be a comparison. Self-love means having compassion for yourself to know that you don’t have to trivialize your issues and to take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal.

Self-love means not rushing to fix certain things because you know that you should address your emotions and take the time to care for yourself as you would to another close friend who might be going through a rough patch.

Society teaches us to be kind to others. But self-love teaches us that we should also be kind to ourselves. It is not an end goal, but a process. We are always practising self-love, learning to accept ourselves; addressing our thoughts and emotions and trying to understand our wants and needs, caring for me in order to show myself more love.

It is letting our emotions flow without judgement, before asking ourselves what we need to address them. Be kinder to yourself because you are the only one who knows exactly what you are going through physically and emotionally.

Love yourself more, darlings.