There are a thousand and one articles on the web that describes the importance of loving yourself as an essential component for having a healthy mental state, and sure, a lot of them fall along the lines that it’s a necessity for having fulfilling relationships as well, which I somewhat agree with, but that’s my opinion. I myself have referenced the idea of self-love in a number of my articles, but the fact remains that there seems to be a number of interpretations for this phrase, and not all of them are all that great.

Some believe that in order to love yourself, you need to constantly put yourself first and others fall prey to the phrase, “love yourself or nobody else will”, which is an unfortunate viewpoint to ascribe to, because it dismisses a significant community of people who struggle with the very idea on a daily basis.

It’s difficult

That’s probably the first thing you’ll find, when you start realising how much self-loathing you can actually carry in your body. Years of repressing negativity usually manifest themselves as, first, an overwhelming tendency to dismiss your own self-worth, and second, a lack of trust in your own words, much less anyone else’s. How is it possible that someone can believe in you when your own personal demons have been by your side all this while, feeding into your thoughts with toxic comments that constantly bring your confidence down?

It’s not a one-time thing

Just because you feel good about yourself after one selfie doesn’t mean you’ve automatically found the key to loving yourself.

It’s a journey with a ton of ups and downs, and it’s choosing to love the you that woke up early to exercise for once, and the you that snoozed fifteen times and can’t function properly for the first few hours at work. It’s choosing to love the you that made all those terrible decisions in the past that caused you to hurt yourself, and choosing to love the you that you dream to become.

It requires you to face your flaws head on

This is something that I’m personally struggle with, day by day. Loving yourself is about self-improvement, but also understanding that there are some things about you that might not change, and you need to be okay about it. It’s looking at your flaws as more than just a set of things you need to change about yourself, but it’s understanding how and why those flaws came to be there in the first place.

It’s also about making peace with the fact that you might not be as smart, as successful, as good-looking, as “insert positive adjective” as someone else, and still believing that you are not worth any less than anyone else. And down the road, it’s about being able to diss yourself without feeling the hurt behind your own self-deprecating joke.

It shouldn’t hurt anyone else

Here’s a ringer. Sometimes we can get so caught up with the idea of loving ourselves, that we unintentionally (or otherwise) harm those around us with the messed up philosophy that loving yourself translates to pushing down everyone else that doesn’t agree with our opinions. While we are in control of our own choices, we need to understand that we are responsible for the outcome of our decisions, and that circles back to the previous few points: that it will be difficult to face those consequences in the case where things might not have turned out so great, that it is a stumbling block that we must surpass, and at the end of the day, it’s looking at your flaws without the filter of rose-coloured glasses and knowing that you are deserving of love, especially so when it comes from yourself.