Though I cannot say I've perfected being self-loving 24/7, I've come such a long way from being ashamed about so many things to not only accepting those parts but to actually loving those parts of myself. It's been a journey of making great progress, sprinkled with moments that include thoughts like, "should I really love this about myself?" or, "I'll never feel confident about this." Every step along the way eventualy leads to that breakthrough moment when you realize, "wow, that thing that used to bug me, I don't care about it anymore. I really like who I am."
What I've come to understand about love in general is that it is not 1-dimensional thing. Love is dynamic and it encompasses a range of feelings and actions that include, forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, and empowerment. For me, I've learned that self-love is that feeling of confidence you get after facing a fear or being in your zone of genius. Self-love is spending moments simply appreciating yourself, loving on your mind, body, and soul. It's being able to look in the mirror and say, "I am so fucking proud of you!!" Self-love is the action of pursuing your dreams. It's not giving up on yourself. Self-Love spending time doing what you love because it makes you happy, and it's important to you that you're happy. Self-love looks like happy people. Truly, happy, and fulfilled people.
Self-love is the person who has learned to ignore the naysayers, the haters, and the pessimists. Self-love is that small voice that says, "I don't care what anyone says, or what you've done, where you've been, or why, I will always believe in you. I see the goodness in you and I love every part of you. Self-love looks like the person who's not ashamed or scared to be alone. Self-love likes being alone. It's being able to be with just your thoughts and feel good. Self-love feels good. Self-love doesn't need anyone else to approve of them. Self-love doesn't need a partner or a demanding career to feel important. Self-love just is. It's loving. It's loving you unconditionally.
The path to self-love takes time if it's not already ingrained in you. You can begin this process by looking in the mirror and telling yourself that no matter what, no matter if you reach the highest heights or the lowest lows, no matter if you ever find that partner, lose the weight, make the money, no matter what. No. Matter. What. I love you. I love me. Who can destroy a love like that? What else could possibly matter if you learn to accept yourself in such a whole and unconditional way?
The funny thing is that once you reach that space of true, unconditional self-love, all the things you think you need right now to feel that way come to you. But it starts with you. <3