What does self love mean to me?

What is self love? I could sit here and list off all the things that I feel self love embodies, but for so many the struggle is not so much self-love, but where it actually begins – self care. Someone once said to me “You cannot truly love yourself until you can care for yourself”. I never quite understood the meaning of this until recently.

For me, 2016 was the year that almost broke me. It tore my life apart in ways I never imagined possible leaving me to reassemble the unfamiliar pieces of who I was. I was exhausted, burnout physically and emotionally and knew something needed to change. I am re-learning self love, beginning with self care. While I’m still early on in my journey, I want to share with you what I’ve learned so far;

  • Listen to your inner voice. You already know it’s right.

It sounds SO cliche! But think about how many times you ignore that voice that is screaming at you from inside. Often, we let our titles as women, wives, business owners, care takers, moms, define who we think we need to be. And why do these titles come with so much pressure from ourselves? We already know we can’t do it all but we try anyways. Listen to that inner voice that is screaming for one more hour of sleep and one less activity to take on. Don’t worry, the world won’t stop and no one will die. It might feel like it at the time but I promise you, taking back that power feels amazing!

  • Your energy is the most precious commodity you have. Protect if fiercely and spend it wisely.

Think of money. You only have so much in your bank account to spend, when it’s gone you either earn more, or go into debt. You spend money on the basic foundations of life (food, shelter), on things and experiences that make you happy and get you ahead in life. It’s awful when you must spend money unexpectedly on things you don’t really want to spend money on such as house or car repairs. The same rings true for your energy.  Be aware of your energy levels during and after certain activities and after being around certain people. Do you feel drained, or enriched? Focus on those experiences and people who enrich you and make your energy sing! If you go into “energy debt” make sure you do things for yourself to recharge so you’re not constantly feeling depleted. You’re the only person who can do this, and trust me Sister, no one else is gonna do it for you so be fearless and aware with you energy expenditures.

  • Never feel that you need to have an excuse for anything you decide to do on your journey to self love.

If you feel like you need to make excuses as to why you are taking care of yourself, it’s probably because it’s new and you feel guilty because you feel you “should” be doing something else. We all know the self-induced guilt trip too well. Just stop it! Easier said then done, right? One of the best ways I’ve found to overcome is this to be honest and upfront with your friends and family (your support system) about your journey into self care and self love. Tell them the reasons why and suddenly taking time for yourself, doing things that enrich you and make you feel whole, don’t seem like such a big deal. It becomes natural and your support system will even.. support you in it! Imagine that! If you still find yourself making excuses for not taking care of yourself, explore that deeper. List all the reasons why you feel you need to make excuses and address them each individually. I found that my list was long and I needed help to overcome some of the challenges, so I saw a counselor for some extra support. Best money I’ve ever spent and I got so much more out of it then I thought I would.

While self love is SO important, I truly believe that you cannot love yourself until you learn to take care of yourself. Self love is natural and follows when we allow ourselves the opportunity to be stable and solid with who we are. If you take the time to care for yourself and listen to your inner voice, that foundation sets you up for the most stable and pure understanding of who you are without doubt. With this, self love always follows

Best wishes in your own personal journey!

– Caylen Wallace, Canvas Candle Company

Makeup by Shayla Rose from Rose Quartz Makeup Services https://www.facebook.com/Rosequartzmakeup/

Photography by Sabrina from Sequel Photography

Earrings by Glass & Brass Vintage https://www.etsy.com/shop/glassandbrassvintage

& Tanned and Beautiful https://tanned-and-beautiful.myshopify.com/

Nursing Bracelet from Dear Loves Company https://www.dearlovesco.com/

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