• Christina Peña


The idea of self love has been mentioned to me several times this week. Self love is defined as “regard for one's own well-being and happiness.” This is truly beautiful when you think about it but how many people do you know that preach self love but don’t actually love themselves.

Imagine if you truly loved yourself.

As someone who practices self love, it took me a long time to get where I am today. There were many late night conversations about every inch of my body from my fake blonde hair to my purple toenails with a design of a white flower on the left corner. I also questioned every joke I ever made. Were they funny enough? Did Nick really laugh? Or was it an underlying joke about the fact that I was an imposter masquerading as a well rounded emotionally stable human? These conversations all led me to the fact that I was letting someone else define me. Believe me I am not a pretty blonde.

I think loving ourselves is actually one of the hardest requests we can make. I mean loving yourself means acknowledging every part of yourself. Good or bad. And moving forward to generate your own happiness.

When I strip everything away now, I see a woman filled with joy. Who happens to have a fat ass and some love handles because quarantine made it okay to eat our feelings for awhile. I see olive skin covered in freckles and scars from my past. I truly think of my shaving scars as a badge of honor. It takes a lot of work to look this good. I see a girl, who hides her anger in positivity and love because I know that I am not the only one who is angry right now. I see someone who has been hurt by some many people in her life but continues to acknowledge that I have done wrong too.

Self love is about a lot more than the bubble baths and meditations like we see Instagram. I am not saying that these are not forms of self love. But think about the deep roots that must be explored before you reach for your next $15 Lush bath bomb.

I have noticed recently that I say the phrase “I like myself” a lot. For some reason this always gets a raging round of oohs and ahhs or some kind of standing ovation. But why? Why is loving ourselves or even liking ourselves not the norm? How can you expect someone to like you if you don’t like yourself? That is the hard question. Lizzo has this quotes that is actually the background of my computer. It reads “I say I love myself, and they’re like 'Oh My Gosh, She’s so brave. She’s so political.’ For what? All I said is ‘I love myself, Bitch!” Every time I read it my little fat heart flutters. Like I said this should be the norm. No where in the definition above does it talk about having to be the perfect archetype of beauty to love yourself.

It’s not going to change over night. It is a practice and it will be a constant struggle but if you give yourself the grace and space to love other people why can’t you even fathom giving that exact space to yourself.

When I was younger, I let others define me. I let them straighten my hair and tell me that if I maybe lost 15 pounds I would be happier. That is projection. That is a clear sign that someone doesn’t love themselves and is threatened by the possibility that you could even like yourself.

So prove them wrong. Be the most authentically you that there is. Let the world see you and love you. I know I’m interested in that version. Maybe we could even be friends. And imagine the world we could create together.

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