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The love you give to yourself

By Kaiya McIntosh | Staff Reporter
On September 26, 2018

Self-love is something that most people struggle with every day. To me, self-love is assuredness and confidence in one’s self. With the current societal norms, showing you the “right” way to be, a lot of people feel that they don’t meet the requirements. 

According to www.goodtherapy.org, “self-love is considered to be an important component of self-esteem and over being. 

“The risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and perfectionism can also be decreased through the practice of self-love.”

All issues of lack of self-love don’t just deal with your personal image; they can also include not feeling like you are enough, being torn down by others, expectations, and fear. 

One of the main struggles for me was feeling like I was not doing enough. Seeing my peers making progress and finding their niche, made me reflect on what I was not doing. The reason for my insecurities was fear. Fear of failing, fear of rejection and fear of not living up to what people expected of me.

It is easy to feel insecure about your purpose in life when everyone around you seems to be doing better, I realized 

But instead of letting it get me down I started to focus on other positive things I had going on. I didn’t want my insecurities to take over me, so I made the necessary changes to be a better me.

A way that I embraced self-love was learning not to compare my chapter 5 to other people’s chapter 10. Meaning I had to stop looking at what other people were doing and trying to be what they were and focus on me. 

I learned how to be a better version of myself once I embrace who I truly was. But most importantly, I realized I was enough.

Another way I embraced self-love was listening to podcasts related to the topic of self-love by 

Amanda Seales (Small Doses), and Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D. (Therapy for Black Girls)

The newly released Netflix original film, “Nappily Ever After,” was the story of a woman who was conditioned her whole life to think that image was everything, especial her hair. She later learned that the true essence of life was to love herself and not worry about what others perceived of her.

The movie really showed me that people are actually conditioned this way as children, and without the cycle being broken, there will be more generations with the idea that society rules the beauty standard. 

When you stop putting so much energy into your image, you have more time to focus on other great qualities of yourself. A person who doesn’t feel secure in themself or who doesn’t know how to love their self, is not capable of properly loving others. Loving yourself is to be the most effective version of self.

A few tips on how to embrace self-love:

•    Learn how to OK with being alone.

•    Take care of your mental health.

•    Take the time to heal from whatever is hurting you.

•    Find the image that is ideal for you, and maintain it or work toward it.

•    Try taking yourself on a date, whether to the movies, lunch or even a mall run.

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