J. Cole may have said it in Crooked Smile…but everybody and their momma needs to not only be saying it…but living it as well.
People always say in a romantic sense that you can’t expect to have a significant other love you if you don’t have that same love for yourself. But this notion of self-love can’t be limited to romance.
Self-love means a lot of things, to me. It means caring about you, inside and out. Acknowledging your true feelings, indulging in things you’re truly passionate about and respecting your morals, no matter who or what tries to persuade you to go against them. On the outside, it means putting time (although not too much time) into your outward appearance and taking care of your body, among other things.
It’s not always easy and we all slip up from time to time. But with time and some self-reflection (time by ourselves), we can do it. We’re all capable of loving ourselves. If we don’t do it, if we don’t love and respect ourselves, those around us (not just significant others/ love interests) won’t do it, either.
And what does that look like? Being called out your name. Becoming objectified and minimized to a sexual object. People losing respect for your space and your personal time. Those you care about ignoring your opinions and belittling your views. Negativity and doubtfulness being spewed out of the mouths of the ones you thought loved you the most…or even from complete strangers. You may not treat those around you so callously, but the way you approach yourself gives them the okay to treat you in such a way.
Don’t want to be treated like that? Look upon yourself with worth and with dignity. Do yourself a favor before you do anything for anyone else, and love. Not the person you’ve been seeing, not your friend, not your neighbor or your co-worker…but the person staring back at you in the mirror. Nobody else is going to do it for you.
Peace, Love & Consciousness