Game Changers: The Conscious Culture Men With Vision 2020 Edition | Page 14

LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS SELF- LOVE Self-love is a journey. It takes dedication, devotion, and practice. Curated by Lydia Pierre Self-love is defined as regard for one's own well-being and happiness. For many people, the concept of self-love might conjure images of tree-hugging hippies or cheesy self-help books. But, as many psychology studies attest, self-love and -compassion are key for mental health and well-being, keeping depression and anxiety at bay. Imagine how you treat yourself on a daily basis as if you were another person, in a relationship with you. Are you good to yourself? "You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection." -- Buddha Most of the time, we are being too hard on ourselves. We engage in lot of self- criticism, and have that nagging inner voice that constantly tells us how we could've done things better. We all: Beat ourselves up with cruel self-talk Set ourselves up for failure with unrealistic expectations Deprive ourselves of things we deserve through self-sabotaging behaviors Abuse our bodies through neglect or harmful choices We tell ourselves that we do it because we want to be great. We're driven by a desire to excel and while that is a good thing, we must know that we will not always do everything right, all the time. When engaging in self-love, we also work to forgive ourselves, accept our flaws, and embrace who we are. It sounds like a paradox, but you cannot be altruistic, caring, or compassionate unless you’re selfish. Self-love isn’t about self- indulgence; it is about taking care of yourself. Our greatest life lesson is learning how to fully accept and love ourselves. Until you do, you can't completely and authentically give and receive real love. This is because when we love ourselves we know that we can give without becoming resentful, exhausted and depleted, and we can receive because we know we deserve it. "EVEN IF IT MAKES OTHERS UNCOMFORTABLE, I WILL LOVE WHO I AM.” - JANELLE MONÁE