The facts and myths about self-love

If you ever scroll on Pinterest or really any social media at this point, you will be bombarded with a lot of fake positivity. Motivational quotes like “Good vibes only”, “Think Positive”, etc. are posted by so many people in an attempt to spread joy. But if anything, this is just toxic behavior. The same thing goes for self-love quotes, such as “just be yourself” which is always plastered on shirts at Forever 21, attempting to promote self-love. And at one point, I believed in this positivity. I actually have a shirt that says “Not perfect, So what?” (I now wear it ironically).

Self-love is a journey. It is a process. I do not know if there are people out there who always loved themselves but personally, I didn’t. When I was younger, I would dream that one day I would go to sleep and wake up with a lighter complexion, blonde hair and blue eyes. When I look back at that time in my life, I cringe. If I had said, “Love Yourself” to my past self at that time, nothing would’ve changed.

I think it is an unreasonable expectation to completely love yourself throughout high school. You change a lot throughout high school, so there are bound to be ups and downs. However, it is important not to beat yourself up during that time. We often treat other people better than ourselves and this is not okay. If we promise a friend to do something, chances are, we will. If we promise ourselves to do something, chances are we won’t follow through.

Self-love does not mean that you love yourself unconditionally or rely on yourself all the time. Self-love means that when you mess up, you don’t shame yourself or hate yourself. When you overwork, you give yourself a break. When you spend too much time on the internet, you know when to step back. Self-care goes beyond face masks and long baths. Self-love and self-care are having the ability to try new things and fail without seeing yourself as a failure. It is hard work, but we can all get there.