Love begins within

By Zwakele Jiyane

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, what does love mean to you?

Through personal experiences and those close to me, I’ve learnt that love is mostly appreciated when it comes from another party. Why is it that in most cases when someone else has made up their mind about how they feel about us and our physical appearance, we also automatically conclude that that is who we are? For example, if someone calls me fat and ugly, I will also conclude that is who and what I actually am. Is that real love? Let me break it down for you.

  • Love begins from within. Start by asking yourself this question, “What is it that I love about myself that has nothing to do with my physical appearance?” if your answer is mainly based with what you see on the outside, it is not enough. Oftentimes love is based on what lies on the outside, which personally, isn’t the right way to love yourself. Have a moment with yourself and think about what it is that you’re mostly grateful for about yourself and your life.

  • Love doesn’t only come with Prince Charming. Let him find you already madly in love with yourself. We are women, we are born to nurture. What do you even mean when you can’t give yourself the same energy and love that you give to other people? I am telling you, when you give yourself that same energy and efforts you give the other person, that is when you realise your worth and as soon as you do, you will never want to give anyone discounts because you know how hard you have worked on yourself to get to where you are.
  • Take care and be kind to yourself. Loving yourself will bring out the best version of you. Be completely humble gentle and patient with yourself. Step out of your comfort zone, don’t be lazy because remember, “nothing works unless you do”. Start your day with the one thing that makes you happy or in the mood of positivity. These will be different for each woman. For me, prayer and a few sit ups and squats right before my morning tea gets me in the mood. It is only after you have stepped out of your comfort zone that you begin to grow.

  • Spend some time with yourself. Meditate. Realise the woman you are becoming. Think about your life plan, short and long term goals and how you are planning on achieving them. My dear friend, it is the month of love, give yourself some spoils, take yourself out and reward yourself with a thick slice of chocolate cake. There’s really nothing wrong with meeting the standard that you would want for your Prince Charming to meet. You’re a phenomenal woman, treat yourself like one.

Once you start loving yourself and have gotten used to the feeling of being enough, you will never want to get over it. You will want to discover things that will make you fall deeper and deeper in love with yourself. Reading has contributed so much in the woman I am now; it has become my favourite coping mechanism. The fact that you are here means you are making progress; Well done.

And finally, Self-love is important. Self-love means self-care and self-care means self-growth. Energy is very contagious. Surround yourself with people who have the same energy as you if not better – people who will contribute to your growth. Be a happier soul. Laugh, drink water and do your kegels.

To me, love means being comfortable with my flaws, it means enjoying my own company and not long to be around people all the time. Loving myself unconditionally means accepting myself for who I am and being okay with people’s different and sometimes negative thoughts about me because I understand that people’s preferences differ from person to person.

Anyways, you will never be happy until you love yours, right?

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