selfhood isn’t selfish
Sometimes the self-loving thing is to do what you fear. It is to make your own soul and pursue your own growth.
Growth is hard.
Growth is anxiety, mess, mistakes, discomfort and an edge. It is pain you must work through instead of shutting down or medicating away.
Self-love is about selfhood: identifying your gifts and cultivating your talents and learning to put them in service to the world, in response to a call of the time, in a way that lights you up instead of grinding you into despair. It’s the courage to show yourself to others, to be vulnerable, to create the authentic relationships so vital to well-being. It’s treating yourself with kindness and compassion while holding to a higher standard: getting to the appointment on time because you respect your time, going on a hike instead of to the movies because you respect your health, and your need to be in nature.
We give ourselves away in all the wrong ways.
We don’t develop a self to sacrifice.
Self-love is to serve yourself through serving others – and to serve others through serving yourself – in a way that sustains you. It is to be compassionate, to make sacrifices for who and what you believe in enough to make sacred. It’s learning to be in the world and not just one room, with candles lit and Bach on the stereo. It’s mastering the art of healthy boundaries. It’s knowing when to throw open your doors, to let in the world, and the people you desire in yours.
Self-love is about love of your self, and that includes all of your self, all of the time, everywhere you go, because there is never a moment when you are not in your self, even when pretending to be someone else.