A client of my messaged me a few weeks back and told me she felt like she was doing self love wrong. She explained to me that she was trying to use positive affirmations to help her in a time she was feeling less Beyonce' confidence and more, "I hate my body and want to eat tubs of Ben and Jerry's". Ya know, one of those days?
It occurred to me that her disappointment in her lack of being able to love herself in the exact moment she wanted was perpetuated by how simple mainstream media makes self love look.
The truth needs to be shared, it's not necessarily a bad truth. It's the real stuff that people leave out of their journey in self discovery and love, because it's not fun or glamorous.
Myth 1: Self love means you paint your nails, buy a face-mask from target and drink tea every Sunday night
Truth: Sure, you can totally do any of the above as a from of self care. That's not the only way you can choose to love yourself though. Self love is more than buying things for yourself, so if you can't drop money on "things" each week, that's more than okay. Taking care of yourself is a direct act of love. What do you need to feel connected to your body? Answer that and do what you need, which may not be even close to the realm of tea and nail polish.
Myth 2: Self love is the goal
Truth: Self love is not the end goal. When you chase after it like it is, you'll continue to find yourself in this trap of things and yourself, never being enough. The love is the journey. Like waves, self love will come and go. Some days it will be stronger than others and you may feel really connected to your body. While other days you find it harder to connect and feel okay--if on those days you struggle to love your body, it's not that you're doing something wrong.
Knowing what self love is and isn't will help you navigate the journey with ease and patience. You aren't doing it 'wrong' if it's not sunshine and rainbows all of the time. Lead with compassion as you tune into you.