What Self-Love Really Looks Like

I am obsessed with the Hulk. His overgrown green character captured this mama’s heart from the first day I saw “Hulk smash.” As I watched the latest Thor movie for the 5th or 6th time, it dawned on me exactly why I like the Hulk so much. He is completely free to be himself. Sometimes he is a doctor with 7 PHDs. Other times, he is man-handling the bad guys one “Hulk smash” at a time. The world needs both.

That is what self-love really looks like.

Self-love is not self-centered or self-interested. Self-love is embracing who you are and taking care of who you are so that you can be what the world needs?

…but how do you do that?

1. Stay out of the box.

The world needs ZERO more “in the box” people. Your children do not need you to be in the box, and neither does your husband, your family, or your friends. They need to see all of you. They need all the parts of you, even the parts that do not match. This was so tough for me. I felt like I could not be a Christian and a wine wife. Fashion, hair, and motherhood were all separate categories. How could I address and accept one population without boring the other – or even offending the other? And then I recognized, I was living inside a box. I was living in a world that places categories and labels that tell me how to look and act. So I threw away the box.

Self-love requires that you enjoy the boxes from the outside – not the inside.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others.

You feel great about yourself. You conquered the laundry load. You stuck to your to-do list. Your blog stats are up. Your social media stats are up. You enjoyed quality time with your husband and your children, and then you made the mistake of looking around you. And you saw her Pinterest perfect house. You saw her night on the town donned in the latest and greatest with a man who dotes on her very existence. You saw her children who complied for every photo op. You saw her “paid partnership” post. All of a sudden, your self-love flew straight out the window. You began to feel less than.

Know this, her success does not take away from your success. Her light does diminish yours. Her purpose looks different than your purpose.

Self-love recognizes that we can all win.

3. Love more.

Find reasons to love the people around you. Invest in the people around you, even those who can never repay you. You will find that in showing love to others, you are showing love to yourself. Give hugs. Gives kisses. Accept others as they are. Create safe spaces for others to be themselves because you will find that right in the middle of that safe space is the space to love yourself.

***

Self-love is so many things. It is bubble baths and face masks. It is mom time and girl time. It is journaling and devotions. Yet, true self-love is so much more.

True self-love is starts inside. It transforms you and others.

True self-love comes when you accept yourself as is.

***

What are some ways you practice self-love?

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Need some more information on self-love?  Here are some more of my favorites:

1. Journey to Self-love: Give Yourself Grace

2. Learning to Love Yourself – Growing and Glowing

3. 6 Self-Care Tips for Moms

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