(Ephesians 5:29) “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourshies and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”
Self-love is the act of loving oneself.
So many people don’t know how to love themselves, including me. We have to understand if we can’t love ourselves the right way, others won’t either. We will draw people to us who cheat, lie, abuse and misuse us in the worse ways. We will allow it because we didn’t first give ourselves that love.
I haven’t always loved myself like I do now and at times I still have trouble loving and accepting me and the skin I’m in. For a long time, I’ve been the girl in relationships where the man didn’t love me correctly. As women, we need a man that is loyal, tender with our hearts; someone who knows and sees our worth.
I’ve had men who wanted to see other people after we’ve been in a relationship. I’ve been used for my body or just for what I could do for that man. I’ve been mentally, physically, emotionally and verbally abused by others.
Part of the journey of self-love is accepting yourself flaws and all. Tell yourself that you are worthy of the right kinds of love, that you are beautiful and that you are enough. You have to be good to you, take yourself on dates, treat yourself. Demand that if people are a part of your life that they treat you the way you want and not feel bad about it.
I don’t know where in my life I stopped loving myself. I don’t know if it was when I was molested as a child. I don’t know if it was when I was picked on as a child by other kids because I sounded white to them. I don’t know if it was from the damage of my daddy not being who he should have been to me in my life. All I know is for a long time I played a part in letting self-hate, self-doubt and feeling worthless allow others to treat me badly.
I allowed men to misuse me by giving my precious jewel away to unworthy boys because my daddy didn’t do his job. I often found myself looking for my daddy’s love in others when all the time it should have come from him. When a child doesn’t often hear I love you from their parents, it can do something to a child’s mind. When you aren't used to hearing ‘you’re beautiful’ or ‘you're pretty’ from your parents, it does something to you.
This is where I had to start to learn to love myself and it hasn’t been easy. And honestly it hasn’t even been that long that I found myself worthy. I found myself in a countless relationships that weren't meant for me.
Going through a divorce where I chose me over my marriage helped me to become a stronger, more loving version of me. I learned to laugh, love and like myself. I love going to a movie by myself or eating out by myself. Just being in peace by myself.
In my relationship, I have a hard time because this man is so different from what I'm used to and it’s hard for me to accept it. He checks on me to see if I’m good, or to see if I need anything or simply just to see how my day is and to tell me he loves me. He accepts every part of me, whether good or bad and he loves me. He’s a giver and I don’t know how to receive it at times. I have to tell myself he loves you Keilei, accept it. My past has damaged me but, I know with God I can heal and love me even more.
Are you giving yourself love? What are some things you can demand from yourself and others to show they know your worth?
Here are a few ways to practice self-love:
Treat yourself to a vacation
Self-affirmation- I am beautiful, smart, hardworking, confident.
Stop comparing your life to others.
End toxic relationships.
Embrace your flaws.
And always, love yourself.