**All images were taken by Duran Andrae. // trousers-zara
I previously broke the internet with the news of my upcoming nuptials. *Breathe*. I know you are all still recovering (and if you haven’t read it and see the photos, click here and here and here to see more), but I wanted to share this post today about self-love, with hopes that it may help someone this week!
Judging by the title…I know a bit cliché and all, but completely necessary + relevant. I never understood the importance of loving myself and self-acceptance so much til my 20s if I’m keeping it all the way real. I mean, I always loved myself, but now I LOVE LOVE myself y’all! I’ve learned over the years that you cannot give love without having love, that applies to anyone you come into contact with. I feel like a love guru right now…FAR FROM IT THOUGH, however, I got some wisdom coming.
There will always be chitter-chatter about your life, whether from friends, family members, church folk, co-workers…even the phonies pretending to be your friend. My advice,
forget them. Put your hater-shades on and do you. Yikes. That was a bit harsh, let me try again. Where we go wrong is allowing those voices and opinions to influence how we move and how we do things. Sometimes we even feel obligated and tell ourselves they have our ‘best interest at heart’ so we have to listen and follow. WRONG WRONG WRONG! “Issa whole LIE”. Do not let your mind deceive you. Do not let your “gut feeling” trick you. Do not let your mind betray you. Instead, level up. How to level up? Take control…like full control and direction of where and what you will do next. Practice taking action vs. just saying something and not actually following through with it.
Not for nothing, but understanding who you are and your boundaries allow you to be free. Yes, free. When you understand how much you will tolerate and what you have to let go to keep your stress levels down, then and only then will you be free. That type of freedom is how you show yourself, love.
It is so important to love yourself FIRST. Here comes some relationship advice… As I stated earlier, you cannot give love without loving yourself or even having love to give. In order for me to open up completely to my other half now, I had to get comfortable with myself (that includes my whole self, not just the parts I want him to see or get to know). It was really hard at first, I can’t lie to y’all. When we first dating I was super shy and always embarrassed because I wanted him to see my “perfect” side and not my “imperfections”, which was so silly. As time progressed I had to understand that those imperfections made me who I am and if I couldn’t accept them, and he was more than willing to (he was always open and patient with me), then I shouldn’t have to hold back. Letting go of that helped me love myself more, leaving more room for me to give more love to him.
My point is this, you have to love every part of you. However God made you, he did it on purpose. No matter what anyone else thinks, or says, or feel it doesn’t define who you are. If you remember one thing from this post, please let it be to never let anyone dictate your moves and your life. You are in control. Embrace yourself, your strength and your self-love. Cheers to that!