Self Love Is Messy

People love to romanticize self love. Everyone does it – and recognizing the importance of self love is a huge step, but romanticizing it can be destructive, and here’s why.

In the romantic version of self love, we see bubble baths and wine glasses. We see facial masks, nail polish, silky robes and a romantic comedy on Netflix. While at first glance, this self pampering seems like the ideal pinnacle of self love, it isn’t the reality for most people. Here is my example.

When I think about self love, my go to is a night alone, me in my apartment in fuzzy pajamas, sitting on the floor in front of my TV watching the same movie I watched last week, eating a jar of pickles and drinking a can of diet coke. My nails aren’t painted, my hair is piled in a bun resembling that of a pineapple on top of my head, my boyfriend’s sweatshirt adds five pounds, and my face hasn’t been washed since early this morning. It isn’t pretty. If someone was to look in my window, they wouldn’t think this was self love. They would probably think I was self destructing. But here is where I am my happiest. I might pass out on the carpet, wake up with a half eaten pickle in one hand and my cat curled up on my chest, but I will wake up happy.

It is important to recognize this as self love too, because for many girls, self love isn’t bubble baths and facial cleansers. I love a bubble bath as much as the next girl, but if I need a night to really relax and find myself again, I will be on the carpet with my pickles and coke, not in a bath tub smelling pretty and looking nice.

Self love isn’t always pretty. Most of the time, it’s sloppy. It’s messy, greasy, fuzzy, and dirty. Self love is the feeling you get when you are complete. Self love is treating yourself like a priority, instead of an after thought. On a normal day, I go to the gym and I eat a good breakfast, I wash my face and I listen to good music. I do consider this self love. Loving the only body I get was the best decision I ever made. This is my every day.

And then I have nights of pickles and coke, nights when bubble baths and silky robes aren’t doing the trick. These nights, I need something else. I need to remember what makes me feel whole, what makes my heart sore and my skin tingle. It’s a rare feeling, a feeling people usually dedicate to finding your true love – my first true love was in myself, as it should be.

Take bubble baths. Do face masks. Let social media advertise to you it’s ideal of treating yourself. But also have your pickle and coke days. Let yourself fall in love with just being sloppy, being alive, being messy. Let yourself feel – that is in fact, the whole purpose of self love. Remembering to breath, remembering to live, remembering what a blessing being alive truly is, and then allowing yourself to feel it. All of it.

 

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Letting Go vs. Forgetting

I would like to be able to say that I don’t have room in my life for hatred, for bad feelings towards people. I am working toward that reality, but currently, I’m not in that place. I have forgiven, but I haven’t forgotten.

However every person that has touched my life, touched it for a reason. Who knows where I would be today if certain things hadn’t happened, if I hadn’t met certain people. For that, I thank even the bullies and  the family members that chose not to be a part of my life. I thank the friends who abandoned me in my times of need. I thank them all, because I am in love with the person I am now, and who knows if I would be her had I not been forced to grow strong with these forces pushing against me.

Even then, I still harbor resentment. I know it’s unhealthy, as an alcoholic knows the drink is bad but keeps drinking anyway. I know to truly move on, I have to at least let it go. Maybe not forget it completely, but let it all be in the past. I am not there yet, but I am here –

There is not a single person who has touched my life, that if they came to me asking for help, I would turn them away. Life is too short to watch others struggle and simply stand by with the compass in your pocket.

I understand that there are exceptions to this rule; there are people who have done things that should never be forgiven, and perhaps don’t deserve the help that you have to offer. Maybe they can accept the help from someone else, but it’s not your place.

To summarize a long story and make it rather short – I am learning to let go of the past. It’s healthy. Learn from it, remember the lesson, but let the pain go. This journey is too short to continue blaming others for our pain. Help people when you can. Offer a hand when you can. We’re all going to arrive at the same destination, we’re just taking different paths. We’re all human.

Act like it.