During a holiday to my grandparents’ home when I was a young girl, my Gran happened to walk past me smiling at myself in the bathroom mirror.
I think I had just finished brushing my teeth and she laughed and commented about me admiring my own reflection in the mirror. It didn’t come across as being mean spirited and since my actions were carefree and unintentional I brushed it off.
I never forgot that moment though, because in hindsight I interpreted that as a simple lesson to ‘love yourself but keep the ego in check and don’t take yourself too seriously’.
During that same holiday I asked my Gran to write a message in my autograph book (yep at a time during the 80’s that was a cool thing to do…). So she penned the following nugget of wisdom:
Little pots of powder, little pots of paint, makes an ugly woman just what she aint.
Well, this was turning into quite the visit! Gotta love my Gran (and I do), she is always straight to the point!
The origins of that particular saying are old and unknown. On the surface it’s about make-up and beauty but it also makes me think about women, perceived ugliness, vulnerability, perfectionism and cloaking our truth.
Self-love and knowing it’s OK to love yourself segues into this theme beautifully and is a topic close to my heart. I’m hard-pressed to find a woman who completely loves herself. Self-love is an ongoing practice of acceptance and sometimes it’s hard work.
In the ‘like’ era of the selfie, there’s even more pressure to present our most perfect self all the time even if the reality is far from that. Self-love itself can be neglected, abandoned or non-existent all together. We can be our own worst enemies. Who isn’t an expert self-critic? Our inner saboteur thrives on cutting us down and curbing our self-confidence. A constant negative state deprives us of the acknowledgement and acceptance we need to nurture self-love.
So when was the last time you looked at your own reflection and genuinely smiled?
Take action now:
Try this self-love exercise. Take a long, lasting look at your own reflection, deep into your eyes. Smile and acknowledge yourself. You might initially focus on your ‘perceived’ flaws but say no thanks to your inner critic, push those feelings aside and say the following words:
This might feel a bit strange at first, but don’t underestimate the power of connecting with yourself on this level and giving yourself love and acceptance. This simple self-love exercise is just one small step you can take to nurture your heart, mind and soul and start loving yourself more.
And in the wise words from the mother of all queens, RuPaul:
‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else? Can I get an amen?’ AMEN!
Personal development questions:
Answer the following questions and look for personal growth opportunities. What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave your feedback below and share if it resonates. Or connect with me to explore further. I’d love to hear from you!
When are you most happy with yourself?
How would self-love feel to you?
What can you release to love yourself more?
What are you grateful for?