What is self-love?

And how do you get it?

I’m an advocate for, and massive champion of self-love; but what exactly is it? And how do you get it?

I spoke at an online event recently that hundreds of women had signed up for it. There were more that 15 speakers and workshops running across three days. The entire event was in aid of self-love and how to make progress on your-self love journey.

What I discussed with those women was that self-love is a personal journey and we all go through it in different ways. I also, quite controversially, said that self-love isn’t about loving every inch of yourself. Yes that’s right, I promote self-love and body confidence but right now I’m telling you that those two things do not mean having to love every inch of yourself. In fact I still have parts of my body that I don’t even like let alone love.

So how is it that I can help you?

The question now is how can I champion self-love and help you if I don’t have it myself? First off I never said I don’t love myself, I do. Secondly for me part of self-love is accepting your whole body, self-perceived flaws and all. Acceptance is a key word and mindset for me. Thirdly, whilst I don’t love every inch of my skin I do appreciate my whole body and everything it does for me.

My biggest hang up isn’t my mum tum, it’s not even that my thighs rub together when I walk, I’ve never had that elusive thigh gap! It’s that my arms seem over flabby no matter what I do to strengthen and tone them. BUT, and here’s the important bit, what I choose to focus on is all the GOOD things that my arms allow me to do. Like hug my daughter close to me, or hold her hand as we walk, or carry the shopping home, or hold a friend that needs comfort.

How can one positive thought make a difference?

Having those positives to keep hold of and to call upon at times when you can only see the negatives are what will get you through. Over time those positives will change your mindset and ultimately the feelings you have for yourself.

I may never love the way my arms look but I also don’t hate them. I don’t listen to my negative thoughts and I don’t let those thoughts drive my decisions. In the not so distant past I would have tried to only buy tops that at least had t-shirt sleeves but now I’ll wear vest tops and strappy dresses. My arms; and how I think they look; do not define me, they are merely a small part of me, of my physical self.

Who I truly am, and who you truly are, goes much deeper than what meets the eye. So when you see and hear people talking about self-love don’t beat yourself up because you don’t love every inch of your being. If you can accept who you are, if you can find and hold onto the positives for those areas you don’t love, and if you can celebrate being alive – that for me is self-love.

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