Life | Why self love is easier said than done

Look up 'self love' on Google and you'll find trillions of tips to make it happen and affirmations to chant every morning. And why not? In the recent past, words like body positive and self image have become regular buzzwords, which all fall under the neat package that is self love. I've always been a 100 percent and more for it. I've even written about the time booty went back to being big (hah!) as well as my trials and tribulations of being petite. But did I believe every word of what I'd written? I'm afraid not.

The idea of self love is so much easier to wrap our minds around than self love itself. Who wouldn't want to wake up every morning, admire their fantastic figure and clear skin, blow a kiss to themselves in the mirror and walk out the door. The reality of it however, is very different. Remember that self image isn't just your body; it's also your skin, your hair and your every other feature on your person. And once you step into that divine bubble of self acceptance and love wholly, everything falls into place. You overflow with confidence and joy, which seeps into other aspects of your life.

But how does it start? You've tried so hard but when you see yourself looking back at your reflection, with the marks, split ends and muffin top, do you really love what you see? Or is the concept of self love making you think you do?  It's something I've struggled with for a while now. After acne reared it's ugly head in my early 20s and then further, an injury; the scars it left in its wake seemed to be stubborn guests that refused to leave. I've envied women who can look fresh-faced when they wakeup. Or the hordes of Instagram influencers who do mini reviews but have flawlessly clear complexions without a stitch of make up. I had heard the chorus of self love and even preached it but fell short when it came to practising.

The quotes about 'loving yourself for you' are easy to spurt out but to live them? Not so much. The cold, hard truth is, self love is difficult and draining; a far cry from the sunshine quotes we're so used to associating it with. A large part of that is because of how closely our self worth is tied to our physical appearance. A single pimple, a few kilos, a bad hair day and instantly, we crumble beneath it and hate what we see looking back at us. Another reason is because of how acclimated we've gotten to unrealistic beauty standards. Day in and day out, we're privy to pretty young things across social media that resemble barbie dolls with airbrushed skin, thick brows, lifted butts and miniscule waists. In the due course of time, it's natural to have our own standards distorted.

With that out of the way, will you and me wake up in the morning tomorrow and love all of the flub, scars and hairy bits? Don't kid yourself. But the silver lining is, somewhere down the line, it's possible. It may not happen next week or even a few months from now but self love is gradual and can sometimes take a lifetime. Till it kicks in, allow space for gratitude. There are millions who would do anything to be in your shoes and being thankful eases in love. Give it space to envelope you, don't be afraid to feel your feelings and be honest with body. It'll take you on the journey ahead.


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