Let’s talk about the myth of self-love.
There is no magic fairytale land where suddenly everything is sunshiney and hunky dory all the time, but I feel like that’s a myth out there in the world of self-love.
It’s not like you achieve nirvana as soon as you discover self-love, even though that’s what I used to think. Once I reached body acceptance and self-love, I thought, “okay, what’s next?” Life is next! Ups and downs, highs and lows, challenges and opportunities, struggles and achievements, and everything in between. You can’t have one without the other.
Society makes it seems like once you achieve maximum self-love, which I don’t really think is even a thing to begin with, you don’t struggle with your body or yourself or life anymore. I just don’t think that’s true. There may be days or sure, maybe even weeks where everything is going great and you’re feeling super confident and everything, but at least for me, that’s not sustainable all the time.
You’re going to mess up. You’re going to feel down. You’re going to get annoyed or angry or sad or down or disappointed or all of the above. And that’s okay. You are human. All of those things are normal, and I think it’s hurtful and dangerous to pretend like one day you’ll be able to rise above all of it once and for all because that’s just not true.
You may get better at handling what happens when you feel those things, but you’re still going to feel those things. And shaming yourself for feeling those human emotions doesn’t help anyone, least of all you.
Be human. Make mistakes. Feel a wide range of emotions. Give yourself compassion and grace. Know that you are not defined by your emotions.
I think those are all better ways of moving forward on a self-love journey than trying to reach the top rung of a ladder that doesn’t even truly exist.
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been right now and I have the most self-love I’ve ever had, but I can’t give you a play-by-play of what I did to get where I am today. I had a lot of breakdowns and breakthroughs and I worked through a lot of tough shit on my own and with my husband.
A lot of things have happened in my life that I hadn’t predicted and that I might not have picked to happen if I had had the choice, but every single thing has made me into the person I am today. I’ve fought tooth and nail to get here, and I am so genuinely happy and content with myself and my life.
I honestly never saw it coming. Happiness and contentment weren’t conscious things I was striving towards. I just kept trying to tackle or work through whatever life threw at me. Sometimes I was more successful than other times. That’s life, man. But I kept going. Even if I didn’t know what I was doing or what would happen next.
My life has been super messy and unpredictable and insane, but it’s also been wonderful and loving and fun. I don’t have a secret formula for how you can find happiness or contentment or more self-love in your own life. All I can do is talk about my life and share what I’ve been through and what I’ve learned and what I still have left to go through and learn.
I don’t have all the answers, nor do I want to. I used to want that, but I’ve learned that’s not really how life works. Now I’m working on letting go and surrendering more of my expectations. It hasn’t been a completely smooth ride by any means, but there have been a few less bumps because of it. Or maybe the bumps just seem smaller than they used to, who knows.
No matter where you are in your journey with self-love, please keep going. I know there are going to be a lot of twists and turns in the road ahead, but they all help shape you into who you are today.
I can’t promise the journey will be easy, and it likely won’t be, but I promise it’ll be worth it.