The Beauty of Rediscovering Self Love
We have this misconception that when we love other people, that is so much enough for a fulfilling life. We often fail to realize that loving ourselves is actually the very first step to truly loving others and loving life.
I never understood the meaning of the words “Love yourself first, before you can love another.” I used to believe that this idea was false. I could love anyone anytime no matter my condition. But experience and time proved to me that I could never be so wrong.
I was in a long-term relationship with a man I loved more than myself. And, we were happy...or so I thought. Now that I think of it, I see clearly how terrible a person I was. Not only was I insecure, but also pessimistic, immature, dishonest, and very selfish. I had realized this later while in the relationship, but I never truly deeply dealt with myself. I was changing myself so hard for the person when I should have FIRST been actually changing myself for ME.
Eventually, I ended up in separation with this guy, and I must admit, I take the blame for not being able to handle myself and my mistakes in our relationship.
Three years have passed. So much in me has changed, and it is a great change. A lot of those changes have occurred because I started to truly love and rediscover myself.
Now, I understand why those who had the experience tell us a lot about "knowing yourself" first and spending quality time with yourself. It is now my turn to share with you the things I have learned about the beauty of rediscovering (or discovering) self-love.
Knowing Who You Are
True self-love is knowing who and what you really are. You may start discovering or rediscovering yourself by recognizing the things you really like and dislike. Let’s face it. When we are happy in love, we think of “us” all the time. You like this movie because you watch it together. You enjoy this activity because you are with this person. You like this music because he recommends so. But once it is just you again, you may actually realize what you really want without the influence of other people.
It took me a year before I could really listen to songs without feeling emotional. I started browsing and listening to new songs to know what music I really wanted.
I started reading books and writing again-hobbies I stopped doing when I was in the relationship.
I started to become aware of the things I also wanted to do. I find peace when walking alone out in nature. Sometimes, I hang out in different restaurants and explore new foods. Discovering new cafes is one of my favorites since I am a coffee lover. There are times I find it satisfying just to lay down and have a nice rest reflecting on my life.
For me, it is important to spend time alone to really connect with yourself. When it is just you and your soul, there is no need to fake things. Therefore, you will discover the genuine "you."
What You Feel Inside Reflects Outside
Once you get to know the things that really interest you, it is so much easier to accept who you really are. That also means it is much easier for you to project how you really want to look.
I used to spend a lot of time and money looking great for my partner. It wasn't that he asked for it, but I always had this idea that if I looked beautiful physically, he would want me more. Sure, looking pretty is important too, but it is not the most important thing. Being genuinely happy about yourself is prettier than any makeup. Putting on makeup is not a bad thing, though. What we have to realize is using it in a way that suits our liking and personality, not in a way that copies or pleases others.
Now, I spend little time on my appearance. That is because I now know exactly what clothes and hairstyle I want to wear. I feel comfortable with light or natural-looking makeup. And I am very happy and satisfied with how I look. I do not only save time, but I also feel attractive in my own unique way.
Embrace and Celebrate Yourself
It takes patience and grace to accept your flaws, but once you do, it is worth the process. Embracing who you really are is very fulfilling. At this stage when you have fully loved yourself, treat yourself better. Reward yourself from time to time whether it is through material things or a simple getaway.
Looking back, I barely recognize the girl I used to be from the woman I am now, all because I started to love myself. The woman I am now is stronger, smarter, more genuine, and more beautiful in my eyes. If you are reading this, perhaps it is time to start loving yourself too.
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