For a long time I used to cringe at the word self love. I thought it was extremely self-obsessed, selfish, indulgent and egotistic.
So why am I an advocate for self love now?
It’s probably easiest if I share a personal story.
My journey into self love started when a guy I was dating (who is now gratefully my loving partner) told me that behind my Instagram photos he saw a sad girl who was putting up a front, acting like she was okay.
I initially thought how dare he! He has known me for 5 minutes and feels like he sees me, thinks I am broken, and he can tell all that through my Instagram photos.
Following his comment a month or so later he gave me a gift, a book. Unwrapping the present I slowly read the cover, Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini.
Shortly after I plonked myself on the couch with a warm cup of herbal tea and began reading. I finished the book over the course of a few weeks, and had triggers of emotion flowing as I started each new chapter.
He was right, I was that sad girl.
My perception of my own self worth was at an all time low. Everything started to make sense…
- Why I was choosing men that weren’t right for me
- Why I was escaping reality and turning to alcohol and party drugs
- Why I would binge eat
- Why I was constantly comparing myself to other girls
- Why I was constantly feeling so low on energy, and unmotivated with life
Giving the world the best of you
The best part was knowing I wasn’t alone. The author, Melissa, who is absolutely gorgeous, had also hit “rock bottom” as she calls it, having been at a similar point in her life.
I started to do more research, and practicing some of Melissa’s tips when one day I read a really powerful quote that completely resonated with me.
Self love is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you”
Melissa was right, you cannot give fully to others when you are not full within yourself. And in order to be full and overflowing with love, you have to fill yourself up first.
I was done being that moody Tamara, overreacting to the small things in life, and wanted to be the best version of myself and share that with the world. I didn’t want people to be scared or intimidated by me, I was on a mission to self discovery and start my own self love journey.
I wrote a list of all the things that made me feel beautiful and springing with energy. It looked a little like this:
- Go to the gym and get my sweat on
- Eating healthy, nutritious meals
- Relaxing home facials
- Home hair treatments
- Reading an inspiring book
- Listening to interesting podcasts
- Sitting in the sun and being present
- Hiking in the mountains
My self love practice transformed my life
Since starting a self love practice I have completely transformed my life.
I honestly feel like a new person. I am so much calmer, and empathetic and loving to my friends and family. I literally feel so much love inside me, I now have the capacity to nourish, teach, listen, hold space, elevate and inspire others.
If it wasn’t for self love this website would not exist, and my purpose in life would still be unknown.
Self love is not an isolated, once-off task, it’s an ongoing practice. Think of it like a car, you put fuel in the car and it runs, driving kilometres after kilometres but then it needs to be refuelled to keep going. Sometimes it gets a dint here and there, and every year it requires a proper service and some extra attention to keep it running as efficiently as possible.
There are still days when I lose my temper, and days when I feel s***, ugly and unworthy. However when that happens it’s usually a reminder I need to put more attention on my self-care and schedule some time to practice self love so I can be the best version of myself.
An unexpected benefit
An unexpected benefit of my self love practice is that I have stopped conforming to what society thinks I should be. I have stopped listening to what others say I should do.
I still seek advice, and I am by no means perfect but I am more in control, and I feel liberated and have given myself permission to live an authentic life that I absolutely LOVE.
Now it’s your turn
With this in mind, I want you to write a list, just like I did, of all the things that make you feel beautiful and bursting with energy.
Now schedule time in your diary to complete some, or all these tasks.
Post a photo on Instagram and tag me in it, using the hashtag #SelfLoveforFIIT.
I love seeing all your photos and how this article has positively impacted your life. Let's make a ripple effect together and inspire all those in technology to practice self love, so they can also be the best version of themselves.