“Self-love is a constant choice. It’s not a magical feeling that appears on one day. It’s a commitment to have your boundaries, your well-being, your mental and emotional health, and your body.”
Let us first establish that self-love is very different from being selfish. I have struggled with this concept for ages. The way I grew up, I believed that I will be the nicest and most loved person on the universe if I put my own needs at the very end. The result was that at one of point of time in my life I felt like I was being used as a doormat by every other person in my life. I would hear my near and dear ones tell me – “Why are you doing it to yourself?” And I would just put up a smile and say that – “This is how I am”.
Even though I believed that I was being the nicest person by putting my needs at the end of my priorities, it is not humanly possible to ignore your needs. My needs and desires manifested in other ways and I ended up committing some of the huge blunders which caused further complications in my life. I learnt it the hard way that if I would have taken care of myself in a healthy way at the first place, maybe everything would have fallen in place.
Being selfish means being nice to only yourself at the cost of other’s wellbeing. Self-love means loving yourself and others keeping in mind your own and other’s wellbeing. A selfish person says – “I am the most important person and nobody else matters”. A person with self-love says – “I am as important as everybody else. My needs are as important as everybody else’s. I need to ensure that I am healthy so that I can take care of others.”
There was a time when I would feel immensely guilty for spending money on myself. Any additional shopping or spending few extra thousand bucks in beauty parlor and I would end up feeling guilty overnights together. However, I would feel happy if that money is spent on my family members’ needs.
It took me years to realize that I was indeed in a very unhealthy situation. It further took years of constant monitoring of my thoughts and actions to get myself on the right path. I had to come to a position where I could demand what I thought was right for me. I had to change my mindset to believe that my needs are as important as everybody else’s.
3 years back when I started going to gym for the first time after my son’s birth – I realized how much I had ignored my body since last few years.
Now, let me tell you a few things that I do for myself and myself alone:
- I take time out to meditate and do affirmations every day. It helps me reset my brain.
- I take time to work out every day.
- I ensure to budget some money for spending on myself every month.
- I keep a packet of dark chocolate that nobody else (even my son) supposed to eat. ☺
- I define boundaries in every relationship. I observe and monitor my decisions to ensure that I didn’t step on any of the boundaries.
- I invest in my hobbies regularly now.
This is just the beginning of the list, with everyday this list keeps growing.
My journey of self-love started a little late after I had already made a lot of mistakes over and over again. I was so busy blaming everybody in my life for not taking care of me and I didn’t even realize that I myself wasn’t giving any importance to my own needs. Once this realization came, a lot of things fell in place.
“Love yourself instead of loving the idea of other’s loving you”