“You know, self-love!” they said. But the words sounded alien to me. I didn’t know. I had never heard of such a thing. Now hate, that I knew. Hate the way I look, the way my voice sounds, the way I cry. Hate everything about me. Hate because I was told to hate. Told I was wrong, broken. Told I was too much and yet, somehow, never good enough.
I didn’t know of self-love, but maybe it was time to learn. Learn to free myself from the hate. Learn how to heal from the pain. Learn to love myself. What is self-love?
Self-love is…saying no.
No to the criticism. No to the people who are giving me criticism. No. I will not let people tell me I’m broken simply because they cannot handle my beauty. I will not change myself to fit into their never ending list of demands. I will do nothing but be me.
Self-love is…saying compliments.
Compliments…to myself. Yes, my body is beautiful. Yes, my heart is kind. Yes. I will look at myself and say these things to the face staring back at me, each comment a gentle kiss, recognising the beauty of my body and soul.
Self-love is…saying I am worthy.
Worthy of kindness. Worthy of friendship. Worthy of love. People may be unkind to me. Friends may leave me. Love may feel unattainable. Not everyone will recognise my worth, but I am worthy all the same.
Self-love is…saying I forgive.
I forgive my heart for falling, yet again. I forgive my brain for the mistakes it makes. I forgive my body for the weaknesses it presents. I forgive myself for being human after all. These flaws do not define me, do not detract from my beauty, do not make me unworthy.
In a world that points out your every flaw, demands you to change and expects you to fit in, loving yourself, your every imperfection, is a revolutionary act. That’s what self-love is.
He / Him | London | Software Engineer at Gentrack
Vaneet is a wonderful writer, programmer and volunteer who’s involved in many bi organisations and well known for his #BisexualMenExist hashtag on Twitter.