Learning to love myself? What a rocky, f*cked up road it has been.
I remember sitting by my windowsill just a year ago, feeling the tender Spring sunshine streaming onto my cheeks, thinking it was downright impossible to ever love myself. It felt like a concept that was possible for everyone else, but out of reach for me. I remember crying. I remember darkness. I remember self-doubt so consuming I swore it would drown me.
Learning to love myself?
It turns out, was not so impossible. I’m still learning. And so far, it’s exactly nothing I expected it to be.
It was not some grand, sweeping choice. Or an epic decision made in a perfect moment where rainbows and candy rained down from the sky like a sugary-sweet parade of destiny. It was not something I bought on the internet for three easy payments of $9.99.
Learning to love myself?
It was not one choice at all.
Loving myself, getting to know myself, forgiving myself—was (and still is) a thousand tiny decisions made daily. It’s a million small moments that, strung together, create a ruby necklace of something drastically different—a softer landscape in the desert-like lands of my heart that still sting and ache late at night.
Self-love doesn’t have to be so freakin’ complicated or overwhelming. And it’s not a nebulous idea floating in outer space. It doesn’t mean pinning a fake smile to our faces or pretending to be happy when we feel like sh*t. It’s very real. Loving ourselves can be the subtlest, simplest, most honest thing in the world. Often, it’s just a whisper—a raw whisper we fail to hear in the blazing busyness of our traffic-jam days.
It’s that persistent, little whisper begging us to pause, to slow down—to slow way down—and take care of ourselves. It’s the deep breath we remember to take when we’re overwhelmed and the world seems to be spinning beneath our shaky feet. It’s the precious tear we allow ourselves to cry. It’s the rage we allow ourselves to feel. It’s the loneliness we finally face. It’s the nourishing meal we cook for ourselves.
Self-love is woven into the smallest choices—choices we always have the power to make.
Self-love is the seemingly insignificant, but life-changing choice to show up for ourselves—even for one second—on a royally sh*tty day and hold gentle space while we cry like a child, tears dripping from our chins like juice.
It is the choice to begin to forgive ourselves.
It is the choice to see the glittering masterpiece of who we really are—to appreciate the soul behind our skin, the way the sunlight illuminates our dreams, the way the rain dampens our hearts, and to admire the wild curves of our hips, too—even seeing beauty in our scars and finding lusciousness in the dimples of cellulite on our ass.
It is the choice not to reject ourselves, when life seems to reject us.
Self-love is the tough, yet insanely fulfilling choice to lean into failure and learn from it, rather than hiding for days in a poisonous sea of self-loathing.
It is the choice, in this moment, to speak to ourselves in a kind, loving way.
It is the choice not to accept toxic bullsh*t or drama, from others—but most of all, from ourselves.
Self-love is not a grand, sweeping decision made only one time.
Loving ourselves is made up of the tiniest moments, it is written in the decisions we make every day. Every. Day.
It’s a tender plant, in need of constant care and watering to survive.
Self-love doesn’t happen yesterday or tomorrow.
It happens now.
When we cultivate the courage to be present
Yes, completely present,
And honor everything that’s spinning through our heart and soul—the good, the bad, the terrifying, the lonely, the beautiful, the grotesque
Not to judge it, but to hold space for ourselves and breathe
Even for one moment,
We are walking the warrior’s path of love.
But self-love is not always so epic
It is simple, it is subtle, it can be the softest whisper, the smallest choice to honor our Selves.
It exists right here, only right here—
Self-love can simply be putting your hand on your heart
And taking one slow, deep breath—even if your mind is filled with painful inky doubts
And leaning on yourself, for once. And horning yourself quietly.
Self-love isn’t a far-off, nebulous concept floating in the ether,
It’s very real.
And it is always
Available for the taking
In the present moment.
It’s always a perfect time
To start loving
All the magic
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Emily Bartran