There is no magic equation that equals self love. There is a very simple awareness that takes you directly there.
I can best describe it like this:
I spent 2 years looking for a male bright red cardinal to take a photograph of. I finally found him and I took tons of photos of him. It wasn’t until after I took the photo that I thought about his mate. Cardinals mate for life. I wondered how many chased after the photo of the female not-so-bright-and-glamorous cardinal. So, I went out yesterday and I saw a female immediately. I took her photograph. It wasn’t a perfect picture. It was blurry actually. I cherish it though more than my 2 year sought after male cardinal picture. She was not showy. She was not very vocal. Yet she was beautiful and I absolutely loved her. I sat and watched her for a long time in my wheelchair under the branch she was on.
I’ve been looking for a particular camellia for the same amount of time. It is called the pink perfection. I finally spotted one a few days ago and next to it were equally beautiful camellias. I looked at how a few had raindrops, one had a ray of sunlight, and each was beautiful in their own way.
Today I took a picture of a Japanese magnolia bloom. It was the perfect bloom. As I took the picture I thought “THIS is a perfect bloom.” Next to it was an imperfect bloom. Yet, it was equally if not more beautiful in it’s imperfection.
When I think of self love, I think of the imperfect bloom of the Japanese magnolia, the female cardinal, and the Camellias. The way I feel when I look at them is how I feel about self love. I look at them and I see the beauty in every aspect of them. Seeing that beauty brings me joy. Where this is love and beauty and joy there is no room for hate or judgment.
Self love is recognizing, acknowledging, validating, and then loving all parts of one’s self. It is a pure, innocent, child-like love. For me, it is knowing that the same feeling I get when I see the wispy orange clouds, is the same gift I can give myself. That feeling of WOW that is beautiful, I can say about myself just as easily. The pure awe of beauty I feel in one moment in the sky, I can look into my own heart and give that love right back to myself. I am worthy. I am worth it. I deserve to be loved especially by my own self.
You can follow Bethany on her blog: https://bethanykays.com/ You’ll find a plethora of inspiring photographs taken by her as well as a wealth of stirring and encouraging words.