As part of my Live, Laugh, Love series, I want to explore the theme on a deeper level, and share through my own personal experiences of how I learned to self-love. Our goal is to gain an understanding and put into practice what it really means to “Live, Laugh, and Love”. Overall, through reading, reflecting and sharing, we gain power in establishing our own well-being and achieving happiness!
Today we focus on Love, with an emphasis on “self-love”.
What does it really mean to self-love? Well, it is not narcissism and definitely not about self-pleasures…let’s keep it out of the gutter. Self-love is about owning up to your choices, self-worth and learning to find the true inner you. A great example I care share with you took place in my early twenties after giving birth to my first child; it took me five years of being a victim of domestic violence for the sake of my child and wanting her father to be there full-time, before I finally woke-up to find my self-worth gone.
I have heard women ask the question, why doesn’t she just leave him…or, Girl, I would have left the first time he hit me. Right…I use to say the same thing, until it happened to me. Looking back now, I realized that I allowed this person to control and steal my self-worth and identity. Many people tried to rescue me, only for me to believe the lies and return for more abuse – physical, emotional and mental.
The light finally shined for me, and my Golden Day came (long before Jill Scott wrote her song), when I began to look in the mirror, meditate and pray constantly for the courage and the strength to walk away – I prayed for my Golden Day, and it started to appear in my mind brighter and brighter each day. When I finally left, I never looked back and through self-talk, meditation and many prayers, I developed an infinitely strong self-worth, never to look for it in anyone else’s pocket ever again. I discovered that I had the power within and with that came a strong sense of self-love.
Here are 6 steps that I continue to practice daily:
1. Choosing ourselves, do not compromise in an effort to “people please”.
2. Treating your inner and outer body like a temple – take care of yourself through good nutrition, rest and pamper yourself as often as you can afford.
3. If you are single, love where you are in your live; become content and happy. Whoever is for you will find and notice your inner beauty shining out.
4. Love and appreciate the way God made you, this develops a great self-esteem.
5. Stop living in the past – you can learn from it, but you can’t change it. Don’t blame your parents for your behaviors and choices. You have the power to change YOU regardless of past circumstances – seek life-coaches, ministers, therapist and healers.
6. be careful of who you allow in your inner circle, especially when sharing your heart, dreams and goals with others. Remember to dream BIG and believe in your capabilities.
Overall, without self-love you cannot give love to others. Love yourself first…
About Ava-Marie Lawson
I am an optimist and dream achiever. My purpose and mission is to empower women to believe in their dreams and life passions, by learning to embrace and loving yourself inside out. I am a candidate for a M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Publishing. My passions are creative writing, healthy cooking, healthy relationships and life coaching other women in helping them to “rise-above” life’s challenges and obstacles to become dream achiever’s.