When it comes to love, I am a very selfish person, I love my self-first. I wasn’t always selfish; I used to romanticize the idea of love in a very different way. Take Valentine’s Day, for example. The idea of a day dedicated to love and showering loved ones with gifts and attention always took priority for me. But there was one person I always forgot about in between chocolates and teddy bears. Myself. Valentine’s Day was not the only day I neglected myself, it was years and years of not taking time for me and my needs. I used to label myself as a people pleaser because of how often I would put others before me. You are cold? Here, take my sweater.
Through introspection, I have been able to identify areas of my life where the foundation crumbled in relationships, friendships, and jobs. Throughout those journeys, what was missing often was self-awareness, love, and boundaries. Being able to recognize these things was life-changing for me. As I work through the layers of getting to know myself, I see how I show up more authentic in the way I share my love with others.
Falling in love is an expression almost exclusively used to describe romantic relationships. The moment I started to know myself, I fell in love with a lot of other things. I fell in love with traveling, exercising, meditation, and many other activities that benefited me and brought me joy. Taking the time to take care of myself before others finally took priority. Falling in love with yourself amplifies your inherent right to be happy. Self-love activities are tools to get you there.
I find that self-care is often labeled as a luxury and I wholeheartedly disagree. Self-care is love, and it should be labeled as a necessity. Self-care comes in many different ways. From the cliché day at the spa, to a long shower without interruptions. How do you take care of yourself? Does your morning routine include something for yourself, or are you rushing to get the day started? I invite you to fill up your cup first thing in the morning. Take time to do one thing that brings you joy. Then you can take over the world, whatever that looks like to you.
The great Toni Morrison, one of my favorite authors, in her trove of wisdom articulates self-love in one powerful statement. It is my life mantra— “you your best thing” -Beloved.
Put yourself first, be selfish with your love.