The curious case of Self-Love

Too cliché? Well, maybe or maybe not.

We’ve all read and heard so much about it, yet many of us still neglect its importance.

Since a child’s inception into this world, it is taught so much (on a wide array of life areas) from “Namastey karo beta” to “You have to be ambitious and serious in life to get somewhere good.” Often, our parents make the decisions for us, because they know better.

But unfortunately, life cannot be mastered, let alone led by ideals, teachings, parents’ good decisions. Life is not always a win-win situation; instead, it is a roller coaster, full of bittersweet experiences. And one beautiful component of life, are our mistakes, which teach us important life lessons that weren’t taught to us earlier.

One such ‘lesson learned’ is SELF-LOVE. And this is precisely the reason why I chose ‘self-love’ as the first thing I put out on this platform and endorse and reiterate its importance, in the hopes that somewhere, someone reading this might get the wake-up call they desperately need.

Self-love is a very simple concept to understand and is pretty self-explanatory in itself. It implies that you accept yourself the way you are and hence are totally in love with yourself.

Who doesn’t love themselves? We all do, right? But self-love is a deeper concept and not just limited to ‘OMG I look so pretty, love myself.’

Self-love is more than that.

Self-love is awareness about your ‘self,’ followed by acceptance and love (the awareness is what allows you to leave room for improvement and outgrow aspects of your personality that you think you need to leave behind in order to move forward).

Self-love is all about loving and respecting yourself to the point where you know what you deserve, what you won’t settle for and walking away from things that don’t serve you, be it in your personal life, love life or professional life.

Self-love is about standing up for your own self, prioritizing your needs, and wants over others.

But self-love requires courage. The courage to accept yourself for who you are; the courage to get over the ‘Log kya kahenge’ syndrome; the courage to ignore the baseless judgments of the society; the courage to bring about a change at an individual level so that more of us can embrace ourselves for what we are and embrace this beautiful practice of self-love.

Self-love is as important as air, food, and water in today’s world. Self-love is what governs the choices we make for ourselves. And our choices have the capability to make or break!

If appropriate self-love practices are adopted, we are better equipped to make decisions that’ll change our life for the better.

Recognizing what we’re worth is a game-changer. It operates both at micro as well as a macro level.

For starters, it helps us in choosing the option that’s best for us; it helps us make better life choices starting from the daily choices where we often find ourselves conflicted and fighting temptations. For instance, a million-dollar question we often ask ourselves, “should I study or go out with friends?” or “should I complete this assignment first or hang out with friends first?”, there is no correct answer, there is no straitjacket formula that fits all, but it’s all about your priorities. If you’re a student and you have exams approaching, you’ll know what to do, what’s the best plan of action for you, whereas if you’re a vlogger, you know you gotta get out and get going with your work.

At a macro level, it includes accepting the right job opportunities for yourself; choosing the right friendships, relationships and people you surround yourself with; having a clear view of your priorities so that you can make difficult decisions with a certain level of accuracy and surety, but it’s certainly not limited to that and extends to all parts and decisions of life.

The importance of self-love is so much so that the lack of it causes mental health issues.

Often people who lack self-love have low self-esteem and look to others for validation, becoming people pleasers and developing codependency issues, where they prioritize other people’s needs over theirs, sometimes to such an extent that they completely destroy their lives. They become givers and ‘martyrs’ of some sort, and as we know, the world is full of crooks, and so they’re more prone to people taking undue advantage of them; not raising their voice in case any injustice is inflicted on them be it within their home or at their workplace; being in abusive relationships/marriages; suffering in silence; refusing to walk away from situations or people who are toxic for their mental health, and the list goes on.

In a country like India, where women have been programmed to ‘compromise’ and ‘adjust’ since the beginning, self-love is an important lesson we need to preach so that injustices and inconsiderate acts can no more be habilimented as compromise and adjustment.

P.S. – let self-love not be mistaken for selfishness.

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Oprah Winfrey said- “Follow your passion; it will lead you to your purpose” and passion is what led Anukampa here. A lawyer by profession, even though Anukampa’s actions speak louder than words, she has a way with words and an innate passion for altruism. Being ‘the girl in the city’ familiarizes her with many of the day-to-day issues we face, with an added advantage of being an insider in the legal profession which enables her to comprehend the women issues at play in the society and the legalities involved. Passionate about chic spirituality, mental health issues, women empowerment, and a lot of other sociological mumbo jumbos, Anukampa is into binge-watching Netflix, just like the rest of us!