Over the last few years, I've managed to embrace the truth that self-love is the antidote to a lot of the heartache that we experience. And without accepting this - I wouldn't be where I am today.
Think about it. If we loved ourselves then we wouldn’t let people treat us poorly. We wouldn’t allow them to get away with saying unkind words or acting against our welfare – when we would never do that to them. We wouldn’t accept weak justifications for toxic behaviour. We wouldn’t even tolerate toxic behaviour to begin with if we loved ourselves.
If we loved ourselves then we wouldn’t say, ‘It’s okay’, the first, second and third time that they screwed up. We wouldn’t sit facing them, our eyebrows scrunched together in a sad frown, our elbows resting on the hard, wooden table with our chins propped on top as we wait for another, ‘I’m sorry. I promise that I’ll treat you better.’ And as those words would tumble out of their mouth, our stomach would descend like a packed elevator, because we would know that those words are what they appear to be – mere words. Because positive actions would never follow.
If we loved ourselves, then we wouldn’t settle for less than what we deserve. Heck, we wouldn’t let it near us. We would wear our self-worth like a crown on our head, displaying the high regard with which we would view ourselves and anyone who would come along, offering less than what our crown symbolises – we would zap them from our lives instantly.
Self-love steers us away from people that aren’t good for us. It stops us from spreading our arms out to let in bad behaviour, negative vibes or actions that reduce our self-worth/actions that don’t respect us. Self-love stops us from allowing empty promises, half-hearted love and the kind of pain that we could have avoided if we had prioritised ourselves.
Repeat after me: I will put myself first.
Love yourself enough to know when to stomp your foot down and assert, ‘I’m not going to take it anymore’. Love yourself enough to recognise negative vibes, toxicity and actions that may cause you discomfort. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’, not once or twice, but time and time again when your wellbeing requires it of you. Love yourself enough to never let someone else eat into your happiness or peace. Love yourself enough to put yourself before people who have no interest in caring for you.
Let self-love and your self-worth guide you. Embrace your inherent worth and love yourself with every fibre of your being.
Only then will you make the most of your life and welcome happiness that will rattle in your core. Only then will you stretch your arms out, tilt your head back and breathe in the soft air, silken with calm. Only then will you feel a sliver of joy run through your spine whenever you wake up to greet the morning, looking forward to what the day holds.
Only then will you appreciate the swell of love that comes from people who are unafraid to tell you that they want you, people whose actions fall in line with their words, people who respect you more than you have ever known, people who bring out the best in you. Only then will you let those people grip your hand tight when you’re overwhelmed, or when fear hangs heavy in the air and you don’t know which way to go. Only then will you thread your fingers through theirs and clench them tightly, letting your body churn with comfort and ease. Letting yourself fall in love with life all over again.
Let self-love and self-worth guide you.
Only then will you stop settling for less and hold on to all that is right for you tightly against your chest.
About the Creator
Ruby Dhal is a speaker, performer and author of 5 books of poetry, prose and bite-sized self-help. With a social media following of over half a million and millions of impressions on Instagram, Ruby has access to readers everywhere.
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