If you’ve been on the Internet within the past year, you’ve probably read the terms “self-love” and “self-care” at least once. To me, these terms mean different things for different people. Generally, they are both pretty self-explanatory, and at the risk of redundancy, I will put into very broad terms what they mean in my world.
I’m a 26-year-old millennial woman and novice Dungeons and Dragons participant, who works a full-time job, has started a new blogging adventure, has a partner, a social life, will be starting back to school in September, and will be starting the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (I’m converting to Catholicism) in a couple of weeks. It’s taken me 26 years with lots of valleys as well as mountains to define my sense of self-love and it’s definitely still a work in progress. I love myself for having survived what I’ve been through in the body that I’ve disliked, and am learning to love, for so long, for facing my mental illnesses (depression and anxiety,) and seeking help when I felt like I was sinking. I love myself for many, many other reasons. BUT here’s the thing: your value is inherent as a living being, as is your worth. It’s a stationary concept: You will always be enough. This has been the biggest treasure in my journey to loving myself. In a world where “self-love” and “self-care” are buzzwords, I know how hard it is when you’re struggling to love or care for yourself and not being able to find the method of doing so. Either your life is so busy and you don’t have the time, or maybe it’s just a completely foreign concept for you. If anything, I want these things for you, I want you to develop a love language for yourself, I want you to know it’s possible. Be as gentle and non-judgmental toward yourself as you can be.
Being a visibly fat woman on the internet, I’ve faced my fair share of harsh comments. My mom has always said that, “hurt people, hurt people,” and I never fully understood what that meant until adulthood. Sometimes self-care for me simply means to self-affirm in the face of harshness. Remind yourself of all the attributes that you like about yourself. Make a list of those attributes on a good day when loving yourself isn’t hard and refer to that list when you’re having a tough day. This has helped me tremendously and is free of cost. Yes, self-care isn’t always enjoying a bath bomb and a face mask, but it is something that I enjoy when I can. Use and enjoy that special thing you’ve been saving. Wear that outfit you’ve been saving for something special. Enjoy that hobby you used to love, but have since pushed aside. Unplug from social media if it causes you to think negatively. It is so easy to compare our lives to the appearance of the lives of others. Something that I find great joy in is, instead of comparing, being happy for others and striving to focus on your own happiness as well. It’s so much easier to put positive energy out in the world than it is to create negative feeling toward other people or yourself. Watch how much easier it gets to truly work on yourself when your value as a human being isn’t defined by other people, but is defined by yourself and is established by you simply existing. Watch how much easier it becomes to GENUINELY apologize for harm done to others when your ego isn’t on the line. Watch how the world shapeshifts for you because your pride isn’t on the line. This has been one of the hardest processes for me to establish as an adult, but I promise you it’s well worth it—all of the unlearning, messiness, lovingly working through pain and discomfort and targeting where that even comes from—it’s all worth it. If you’re not there yet, it’s PERFECTLY okay. It’s hard work and I’m here to help. To me, the hardest part of learning to love myself was thinking that I should be at another point in my life. I should be doing more, I should have more, I should be married with kids and a career by now, when that is a completely ridiculous thought, especially considering how hard I’ve worked to get to where I am. Live in the now. You’re enough, you’ve always been enough.
Thank you for reading and feel free to reach out to me on any of my socials @fleurdefat or on my blog!
Just tuning in to #FleurDeFat? Check out Shelby’s introduction post HERE!