by Dr Jeanina, Founder Blue Lights Wellness, @Jeanina_dr
Self-Love is a concept, which I have been thinking about a lot lately.
My own journey since the age of 14, has been a whirlwind and a battle with the meaning behind it. I used to think that it meant one had to be good enough and included and accepted within all groups. Truth is, for most of my younger life, I have been running and searching for a safe space, to be seen, loved, and to be rooted. Total destruction to zero and starting over again was my game plan. Giving it my all and setting myself free once a relationship or even a desired destination did not work out. Perhaps, my interest in Psychology, Wellbeing, Human behavior started long before I was even aware.
When I started my work within the field of Psychology, doing clinical work and learning from amazing teachers around the world. I was able to explore and learn alternative healing modalities within life itself and with my clients, something shifted. I felt home, rooted. All of a sudden an unexpected feeling of being comfortable within myself. Realization, maybe I did love myself all along and the answer was always within, I just had to live and learn. As I still am, some days I stumble, fall, but most days I stand up, smile and repeat my affirmations. ‘I love and accept myself for who I am’ – ‘I am ready to embrace all challenges'.
Now in general all of us, can’t escape all the interpretations of what Self Love is. Quotes, magazines, panels, and Instagram posts tell you how you should love yourself, find your inner happiness, honor your own goals and boundaries, love your body, and so on…These are all excellent pointers in the right direction, however, do they add to pressure? Does the self-love cycle need to be completed before you find compatible love or true happiness or your life purpose. Or in its turn, does it allow one to be their authentic self, a work in progress, in their relationships, romantic, with friends and even family? Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of content is helpful as guidance, however, it should not be a label or a hindrance to living one’s life.
I have lost count of the hours I have sat in the therapy room looking at beautiful, smart, capable, men and women questioning if how life as it is now, had to do with their ‘Self Love’ and it not being up to par and therefor making the wrong choices and not feeling fulfilled. As mentioned above, this became as well part of my journey into questioning the true meaning of Self Love. As a Psychologist, I am expected informed and even make sure to reflect often enough if my Self- Love is in “check”. It is also a work in progress for me, which I do share among clients, friends, and family. Being authentic and the willingness to continue to learn, we continue to heal and grow. Tell ourselves the truth about our goals, be kind, when we have setbacks and love being here, being oneself, being unique, weaknesses evolving in strengths, and accepting days we break down. That is my definition of Self Love. Do continue to live, really live in your present moment. Take notice of the good things in your life. Practice gratitude even in your darkest hours.
And yes, in my opinion, we can fall in love even if we are wounded or cautious from a previous relationship. The same relates to bonds with family members, new careers, moving, and adventures. You might stumble, and fall again and that’s where you love yourself and support yourself to be kind to yourself. One might feel broken or have scars on their soul, yet you are whole. One does not need to be fixed. It is about evolving, growth, life lessons, and awareness that this is possible. Self-Acceptance goes hand in hand with Self Love.
A tip from me to you: Write down on a piece of paper what you envision for yourself, what it means to be ‘you’. Set some goals, start small, whether these are lifestyle changes, relationship goals with others, with yourself or even your dreams. Be completely honest and authentic, this is you versus you. Sharing this with others is a choice that is with you.
Celebrate all your progress, in silence or out loud. Be kind, when there are moments you experience a standstill or emotions you can not control. Cry when you need to, isolate when you want to and try new things. Most of all: Follow your intuition. Surround yourself with a close community of like-minded, genuine people. As we are here to uplift and support others as well as ourselves.
And with that one of my favourite quotes by Robert Frost; ‘The Best Way out is always Through’