Every so often a word or phrase becomes popularized and takes on an almost impalpable quality. Rolling off of the tongue of just about everyone you meet. Not to mention, becoming a springboard for word extentions.

Self-love for instance.

What seemed so simple and straightforward at one point, began giving off the impression that we all have to follow a certain checklist of sorts in order to achieve self-love. Do this, or else you are somehow not being loving to yourself. Which, ultimately just makes you feel like crap whilst piling on pressure and stress. Further perpetuating dissonance amongst us.

To me, self-love turned a tad rigid and stale. No one was above it. We all participated in some way, shape, or form in the demystifying of self-love. And without realizing, stripped it of its simplicity. Breaking it down into puzzle pieces, not even an 8-year-old would be engaged in.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not villainizing anyone or the purpose of self-love. This is solely an attempt to regain perspective on it. Putting the joy that it innately is, back into it. Perhaps you’ll agree or you won’t; either works perfectly.

A recent episode of The Grapevine on The Colonization of Black Beauty brought forward some thought-provoking viewpoints. In particular, a question posed by @TheQueenSpeaks, one of the panelists (50:13):

“…What is loving yourself? What is this thing that everyone else is telling us to do…?”

In business, in love, in life, in all of it, we’re continuously making attempts to get to the root – to uncover.

What is self-love? And why does it feel like we continue to fall short if we’re not constantly practicing it?

As the segment highlights, self-love has and always will be about what brings you pleasure. The only checklist, tips, and tricks you need to follow is the one you curate for yourself.

The manual on self-love is not in anyone else’s hands. What I, the internet, or your best friend post or talk about are merely suggestions. Suggestions that probably work for us. Albeit, some suggestions, especially when repeated a thousand times, come off as though they’re the gospel. The Try this and you’ll achieve that rhetoric.

Self-care is self-defined (I know, I know… I just used one of those extensions, but I think it works here). As Dr. Donna points out in this segment of the episode (53:55), it’s YOU work. What do you surround yourself with? What do you allow? What fills you with feelings of joy, excitement, or happiness?

And that, I think, brings it closer to the origin. Tears down the fictitious, the hard climb, and the intangibility of self-love.

Make a list that feels good to you

Your very own list of pleasures. No need to share it on social media. Keep it to yourself and tweak it whenever an item on the list fails to do what it once did. It’s not a finite thing. Why? Because you’re infinite.

And if people want to know your secret as to how you carry yourself as you do, keep it simple. Make your own list, test it, and keep tweaking it.

Disclaimer: There are no paid mentions in this post. Just straight-up references.

  1. What brings you joy? What truly makes your soul smile?

  2. Energy drainers. What have you noticed depletes your mood or energy quickly? And what do you do when that happens?


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♡ Much, much love.


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