I’ve written about self love a million times before; for my personal blog, for my writing internship, at night in my journal, but i’ve never looked at it through a feminist lens. In my opinion, self love is one of the greatest acts of feminism. It’s a giant “fuck you” to the patriarchy, who pits us against eachother and against ourselves. There is nothing more feministic than saying “I don’t need a partner because I love myself. If my person comes into my life, great, but I am complete without them.” There is nothing more feministic than saying “I don’t need makeup to be pretty. My beauty comes from within.” There is nothing more feministic than saying “ I can get that job because I am just as capable as anyone else.”
I want to share my self love story and what I do every day to improve my relationship with myself.
In October of my freshman year of college, a boy came up to my and my friend in the dining hall and told me I was cute. He asked for my number, I panicked and gave it to him. I had never had a boyfriend (still haven’t, fun fact, and maybe blog post for another time) and felt repulsed. I felt sick to my stomach for days while texting him and made excuses not to meet up until he finally got the hint. I can’t remember if I ghosted him or if he stopped responding. Looking back he was really sweet, but had bad hair and scared me. I started wondering why I was so repulsed by this man who showed interest in me. For so long all I wanted was a boyfriend. I started questioning everything I knew to be true about me. I realized I didn’t love myself and the idea of someone else besides my family loving me scared me.
So, I set to work. I hated the pit feeling I got in my stomach when I thought about this boy and I wanted to “fix myself” so I could grow and hopefully never feel this way again. I started researching self care. I journaled, but not like I do now. I would simply write down lists of things I liked about myself—my grandmother’s recommendation. I started seeing a therapist, and meditating, and listening to self-help podcasts, worked harder to love myself.
Before I share what I did on my self-love journey, I want to remind everyone that your experience is different than mine, and what works for me might not work for you. Keep working until you find a routine that you love. Here are some of the things I do:
I adore my therapist. She is my personal hype woman and makes me feel confident. In our meetings she asks me what I am proud of about myself and what I think I am doing well. She is perfect for me. Although we work well together, everyone is different and it might take some time to find the right therapist for you. Experiment and go to different people until you find someone that works for you. I think it’s so important to talk to a therapist and everyone (yes ,everyone) would be better off with one. Therapy is stigmatized and people often think you need more serious problems to go but that’s not true.
This is the next best thing to therapy for me. I journal every morning and night. I write lists of what I’m grateful for, what I love about myself, people who love me, or anything else I need to remind myself. I write my feelings too. Alot. I write what I can’t tell my friends. I gossip to my journal, telling it when friends are bothering me or boys are stressing me out. I use my journal as my best friend that I can tell anything to, and I know I will get no judgement.
Have a morning routine
I LOVE my morning routine. I meditate, do five minutes of yoga, and journal before breakfast. I then say my affirmations and get ready for the day. This is an act of self love for many reasons:
- You are committing to yourself and showing yourself that you can stick with something
- You are calming your mind and detaching from your thoughts with meditation
- You are moving your body with yoga
- You are releasing your thoughts with journaling
- You are changing your internal dialogue with affirmations
This is the perfect morning routine for me, but it might not be for you. Play around and try to discover what works for you.
Change the way you speak to yourself
If you take nothing else from this post, take this… THE WAY YOU SPEAK TO YOURSELF IS IMPORTANT. Change your internal narrative. I caught myself saying I was ugly, fat, and unworthy. My brain took those words to be true, and it manifested into my physical form. Once I changed my internal dialogue, I changed my life. I carried myself differently and realized what I deserved. I changed my major to something I am much more passionate about, I started speaking up for myself, and I became happier. I realized I deserve to be happy and I deserve to feel good. I forgive myself for any mistakes I make and congratulate myself when I do well on something. When I’m alone I talk to myself and say affirmations daily in the mirror. I smile and tell myself good morning every day and goodnight every night before I go to bed. I treat myself like someone I love.