Self-love is one of the most misunderstood concepts these days. Many people still think that loving yourself equates to treating yourself like you’re the center of the universe and acting like everything is about you, but that is not how it works.
Sometimes loving yourself simply means knowing how and when to set boundaries. Many of us are put in situations where we may overextend ourselves to a point of exhaustion and cross the boundaries we set time and time again. This is because we are scared that if we don’t bend over backwards for some people, we may lose them.
Here’s the cold hard truth, though. When you start loving and caring for your own well-being, it is only a matter of time until you start losing some people: long-time friends, family members, employers or colleagues, or even romantic partners.
When you slowly learn to put yourself first, some will think you have turned into a completely different person, and they would view it as something negative. But you know what? Maybe that’s okay. It’s not like you are grinding so hard in life just to stay the same anyway.
Sometimes you will feel guilty about saying no to certain things, or about focusing on your own path because we have been conditioned to believe that doing so is selfish. Maybe there are moments when you consider what you feel and experience to be less important than other people’s, but that’s not true.
Your feelings and personal struggles should not be invalidated or minimized just because you think someone else has it worse. You are not selfish if you choose to preserve your own energy, and it’s okay if you don’t have enough to give away at times. As long as you know that you are not doing anything wrong and not stepping on anyone, there is nothing bad about it.
Self-love also means learning not to put so much value on other people’s opinions of you or how you live your life. It’s learning how to be okay with being misunderstood. Remember, you can’t always meet the version of yourself that others need. What matters more is understanding your own journey and knowing what purpose it serves for you and the ones you love.
People can only judge based on their level of understanding, and you can’t spend your whole life trying to justify every single decision you make just to appease someone else. The ones who really care about you will always try to understand your journey, and they will be happy to see you thrive and choose what’s best for you.
The journey to loving and caring for one’s self is a long, hard road. It’s not something that just happens overnight. It is a choice that you actively take every single time, even when it feels like trial and error at times. It is a process that could take a while to get comfortable with, but it may just be that one essential step to achieving the best version of you.
And when that happens, I promise it’s going to be worth it.