As far back as I can remember, I have never ever been taught self-love.
Honestly, I’ve never even heard of it until I was in my 40s. If you know anything about me, I’m that person who constantly works on myself. I research and read how to be a better person, how to be the best version of myself, and how to live a full, happy, and healthy life.
But I kid you not—I have not once heard of self-love. Was this something new? Why have I not ever heard of it before?
I was raised by a single mother. She was a hard worker and provided for us the best she could with as little as she could offer us. She did, however, have plenty of advice about the type of woman I should become.
I was taught to work hard, support myself, including never relying on a man to support me and to be strong and independent. I was taught to give 110 percent in everything I do. I was taught to be kind, giving, and never selfish.
So as an adult, I gave it my all in everything I did (including my relationships). But I was never taught to love myself. Did mothers in the 80s not think this was important?
Fast forward to today, and everything I read starts and ends with self-love. How did I miss this important—apparently standard—key action to function in this world?
I kept seeing it everywhere, self-love this and self-love that, but I didn’t actually know what the fudge it even meant. No one was explaining it. They just kept repeating self-love, self-love, and self-love.
What did it even mean, and when did I miss the part where everyone was self-loving themselves?
I invested months into learning what it actually meant to self-love. The more I learned, the more I was intrigued. Is this what I’ve been missing my entire life? Is this why I felt so empty for so long?
I was so busy giving, giving, and giving to everyone, yet neglecting myself. I was looking for someone on the outside to make me happy. Meanwhile, I had the power this entire time to be whole and complete on my own.
Why is this sh*t not taught in school?
They teach us personal hygiene and exercise but nothing about self-love. I think this is one of the most important lessons to be learned. I was quickly mortified that I, myself, didn’t teach my children this extremely necessary practice. This is a journey both girls and boys would benefit from throughout adulthood.
If you are anything like me and completely missed this self-love thing, I’ll break it down as best I can:
Self-love is defined as a concern for one’s own well-being and happiness. Self-love is an appreciation of one’s worth. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.
Is it too late to teach ourselves self-love? I believe it’s never too late to learn something, especially something good for your well-being.
There are different ways to achieve self-love. I hope that, if you are one of those people who didn’t know self-love was a thing, you will join me in being the best version of yourself and self-love the hell out of yourself because honestly, it’s a thing and a thing we could all use a little more of in our lives.
Here are nine self-love practices I work on each and every day to help me achieve self-love:
1. Be your own best friend
2. Be kind to yourself
3. Forgive yourself
6. Eat health
7. Educate yourself
8. Don’t compare yourself to others
9. Be present
When you practice self-love, you will feel confident, complete, and balanced.