Importance of Self-Love Co. 1

Quick Qs is dedicated to empowering, inspiring and sparking conversations.

This week, we’re discussing the importance of directing your love inward.

HOW DO YOU PRACTICE SELF-LOVE?

 Photographer: Vanessa Acosta (@fromabolivian)

Photographer: Vanessa Acosta (@fromabolivian)

Rachel Leyco
Filmmaker / Actress / Co-Founder of Empowerhouse

Self-love is crucial yet so underestimated in our society and culture. It wasn’t until my early-mid 20’s that I was served this platter called “self-love” and “self-care.” I stared at it as if it was some foreign dish — daunting to try. But after I hit my lowest of lows and was suicidal, I knew it was time for something new.

My therapists, psychiatrists, and friends taught me self-care. But self-love? That’s the other side of the coin. I was given tools and techniques to practice daily: take yourself out on a date (movies, here I come), treat yourself with your favorite dessert (hello, mint chocolate chip ice cream), take time to pray or meditate (burn, incense, burn). And I did everything I was told. I’m a pretty fast learner. Except when it comes to truly loving myself. I practiced self-care every day but did I really love myself? No, not yet. Because even in the thick of these good habitual routines, I, somehow, still felt as if I was not worthy of the love I was giving myself.

To this day, I’ll recite affirmations:

“I am strong and beautiful.”

“I am talented and successful.”

“I am worthy, worthy, worthy.”

But certainly, there are many moments, in which none of these feels real.

I am not saying these self-care habits don’t work. They do. Oh, they do. They help center you into a position of positivity and gratitude. They help in managing your emotions in stressful moments. They help in extending love and kindness to others. But guess what? It’s a long winding process. Can I say that I love myself fully? To be honest, yes and no. Some days are better than others. But that doesn’t stop me from practicing self-care and walking the journey towards self-love. Because deep inside, I am worthy. You are worthy.

Casha Doemland