self-love

Noun

Regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

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I’m the type of person that needs some sort of structure to function – not too much and not too little, but just enough. I need definitions and to-do lists right up front so that I know what I’m dealing with. I need parameters. Hence, I had the urge to google “define self-love,” and the definition above popped up. Frankly, this actually doesn’t really help me but it’s a starting point for beginning to explain what I think about and how I interpret self-love.

I’m really interested in how different ideas overlap, so before I knew the formal definition, I was having a hard time distinguishing the difference between self-love, selfishness, and confidence. I know it can definitely vary depending on circumstances, but in many ways, these three words are synonymous.

Self-love means being selfish about your needs and making sure others respect it.

Self-love means acknowledging your unhappiness and choosing to focus on yourself by taking a break from the stresses of school and/or a toxic relationship.

Self-love means knowing that you are worth it – and showing it through the way you dress, walk, and talk.

Self-love means doing something because YOU want to, not because you are pressured into it or want to make someone else happy at the expense of your well-being.

Self-love means loving yourself the way you love others.

Think of that person (or people) you would do ANYTHING for. That person you would drop whatever you’re doing to go help, no matter what time of day or night. That person that you’ve shared your secrets with, had deep conversations with.  That same person who’s come to your aid when you needed it most. That person who’s there during the good and bad times.

Chances are, the person you probably thought of wasn’t yourself. But consider this: that person above that you were thinking of has probably failed you at least once – humans are inherently flawed, we forget, we hurt each other intentionally and unintentionally. The one person who has (literally) always been there for you has been yourself. It’s a cliché statement, I know, but think about it (critically) for a minute.

Self-love means loving yourself the way you love others.

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A note on this photo:

Like most tattoos, people usually ask what the significance of my power bands are. I don’t quite know how to respond more gracefully than “there’s no real story behind this and no, it’s not from Teen Wolf.” Getting these bands was something I did for myself just because I could. It was (and still is) a time in my life where I was really trying to focus more on myself – on self-love. Yes, I got these bands mainly for the aesthetics and for my appreciation of lines. Yes, if I got a half-sleeve in the future, the bands would be the cut-off point. But no, I don’t think I need a specific sappy story to justify my body art. And no, no TV show or specific person influenced my decision to get this. I did this for me (most of it spur of the moment) and I love myself for that.

So many people are so hesitant in getting tattoos because they “want it to mean something” or “to signify something important in their life.” So many of those people end up not getting tattoos. So many wait too long for the “right moment” that it passes them by.

I personally don’t think there’s ever a “right” time to do anything – you just have to do it.

 

-Sexpert Linda