The Picture-Perfect Life: Self Love is the Best Love
Disclaimer: My advice comes straight from my personal life journey. This is not advice I read somewhere in a book. That would be super inorganic. This advice comes from the hardships I’ve faced in life—where at the time, I didn’t fully understand the importance of self-love. Had I understood it, I would have saved myself from many heartaches and disappointments. With this being said, let’s dive right into the meaning of self-love, first.
What is self-love?
Self-love can often be considered as selfishness or absorbed with the self. However, I beg to differ with that perception. I believe that self-love is an act of being good to you, first. It's an act of providing your own happiness and support—not leaning on someone else to be responsible for that.
Why is self-love important?
Having self-love motivates you to move differently than most in different situations that come up in life. It gives you self-control allowing you to be proactive as opposed to reactive.
It protects your INNER PEACE.
This is a biggie!!! The protection of your peace is your navigation through life. If you're able to master the art of stillness and silence in the midst of adversity—you'll save yourself from a lot of issues that aren’t beneficial to your growth and success.
One thing is this:
You're in control of your destiny and setbacks.
Think about this for a second. You can’t ask to be blessed with something, if you haven’t prepared for it.
If you find yourself constantly in the middle of drama and reacting to every single thing that comes against you, how are you ready for the floodgates of success to open for you?
On the contrary, if you're able to take what people say and do against you as a non-personal approach, then you have mastered what self-love is all about. If you can master that not every single issue has to be addressed in a hasty way, you're on your way to developing self-love. When you can learn to choose your battles without disrupting your inner peace, you're developing self-love.
This was not at all an easy task for me.
I was always outspoken and had to have the last word. I felt the need to deal with all my issues head-on.
In my early 20s, I was reactive and not proactive. Every action, good or bad, has a consequence. The unknown factor is when that consequence (aka karma) will hit.
Because of that, my personal and professional life was very stagnant throughout my 20s.
If I were the way I am now in my early 20’s, I would be a force to reckon with. I would be so much farther and advanced into my career. I do believe that life would be more different for me than it is now.
However, I was given another chance when I was put in the role of a single mother, shortly after giving birth. I dealt with and still deal with some of the toughest battles that are out of my control.
So, picture dealing with a crisis—one that came out of left field and just simply not knowing what to do—or can’t do anything about the situation. If you want some sort of peace, you learn to depend on God (or whoever your Higher Being is) and yourself.
You learn to let go and trust the process. Through that process, you develop self-love.
For me, I took my son’s father’s car accident as a learning lesson for even myself.
These are the lessons I learned:
1. To not play Russian roulette with your life.
My son’s father was drinking and driving. He fell asleep behind the wheel and hit the back of a flatbed tractor-trailer truck that was stopped at a red light. Before he had those drinks, he knew that he had a 4-year-old daughter and 3-week-old son. He had a wonderful career and the growing life we shared together.
The right thing, even for the sake of his children, would have been to stay put where he was. It wasn't to put his life and the lives of others in jeopardy. It’s just not fair to your loved ones or the loved ones of others.
2. You can learn to achieve strength and self-love, despite your circumstances and the people surrounding you.
My son’s paternal family has put me through a lot since the beginning of the car accident.
Little do they know, they have taught me the value of strength and self-love. By being such reactive people, they’ve forced me in the position of being proactive. I'm more focused on not what I don’t want out of life but what I do want out of life.
3. In life, you can’t force things that aren’t meant to be.
The car accident resulted in traumatic brain injury that my son's father will deal with for the rest of his life. He has short-term memory prohibiting him from knowing much of his past life. His diminished capacities make him incapable of co-parenting with me. He is in the full-time care of his biological mother who, alongside the car accident, dismantled our relationship.
Ideally, I would have loved for my kid and future kid(s) to have the same father. I’ve never been married, but I would have loved to have been to my child’s father. But, it just didn’t happen that way, and I won’t question God as to why. That would go against the point of trusting and believing in the process of my life.
4. I’ve learned to not lean on my own understanding of things.
So, it’s been 3 years since the accident and I have not found the desire to seriously commit to dating or a relationship. Crazy thing is... I’m a relationship girl! However, it hasn’t been a focus or desire for me.
Maybe because, for the first time ever, I’m giving myself the opportunity to create my own life for my son and I. It’s not fair to me or my son to stay distracted trying to find a hubby/daddy figure. I’ve made sure that my son has good male role models; they genuinely love him and adore him. As far as I’m concerned, the season will present itself at some point, when it's meant to be.
But, I’m not searching for it or putting energy into that at this current time in my life. I have to provide for and feed myself with everything I need first before I can add a partner into the equation.
And that’s what self-love looks like.
It makes you want to indulge in life first before you expect someone else to do it for you. You should never turn your happiness over to someone else to nurture or control.
If I could sprinkle self-love on everyone, I would.
It’s one of the best gifts besides my son and relationship with God that could have been given to me. It truly makes you move differently than everyone else in life. It gives you the same scenarios as the next person with a different perspective. It also gives you peace of trusting and being guided within.