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  • Writer's pictureZenisha Gibson

How to Cultivate Self-Love

Quick question for you? How do you love yourself? Or a better way to ask; what are some ways you don’t love yourself? As you read along, I ask that you consider how you want to cultivate self-love every day. Not just on Valentine's Day. As we embark on this love-centric holiday this year, how is it that you plan to express love for yourself? I know the notion of self-love and self-care have been and continue to become more of a cliche than an authentic act. So let's talk about what self-love is and how you can authentically show up and express it for yourself.

First, let's start with the goal and MO (motive). What’s important to you about self-love being authentic? If you’ve spent time in America as a school-age child you’ve been reminded every February that on Valentine's Day (even if you didn’t celebrate it) you give out cards and candy to your classmates and sometimes teachers. You collect them as well and gather them in a decorated brown paper bag, or a decorated shoe box with a slit in the lid. The celebrations often included pink and red-colored foods, plus beverages and everything heart-shaped. It sounds so cute and festive, because who doesn't want to be loved?

The only problem is, that this could very well mean that you were potentially giving cards and candy to people you didn’t even like! Or worse people that didn’t like you! What sort of dysfunction is this?

Especially when we take a step back and acknowledge that similar to the day after Christmas, after Valentine's Day is over, it seems some of the seasonal kindness of others dissipates and falls off. And or was never really there. Just the same is the case in plenty of our inter-personal and intra-personal relationships. We sometimes succumb to the expectations of others that express love or at least portray love for the wrong reasons. 

Love is one of the most powerful emotions and can impact us and our relationships so much! How dare we be fleeting with how we express it and to whom we express it? Even if we were misled as kids to think we “should” express it to anyone all in the name of a commercialized holiday.

This brings me to my next thought. When we begin to assess what's important to us in our journey to loving ourselves like never before we must look inward. We have to think about how we express love to ourselves differently. There is no way that being in a healthy relationship with ourselves is consistently occurring and growing for that matter – sans self-assessment and consistent effort.

If we can use our resources to display love to others, or the energy to feel disappointed about others that we wish would show us love, then there is most certainly an opportunity and call to action for us to prioritize how we love US. Enough already with dreading the day, or anticipating a warm fuzzy feeling triggered by what someone else does. Especially when we are fully capable of building moments that reflect how much we love ourselves. 

If you’re the person who has always loved yourself and/or Valentine's Day is your jam, then this message may not resonate as much with you. But, if you’re a person who is learning how to love yourself better and said this is your year! Then trust and believe part of 2024 truly being your year, starts and ends with LOVE. And sure, it’s important to love your friends, family, partners, pets, and neighbors. But most importantly – to thine own self be true.

How are you being true to you? I encourage you to consider the way you want to be loved. What is love to you? Is it receiving gifts? Is it someone showering you with kind words? Is it someone massaging your feet? Is it a bubble bath with candles and your favorite beverage? Is it a lovely meal? This blog post is purposefully being posted in advance of Valentine's Day. I want to encourage you to prepare to treat yourself on 2/14! Treat yourself to kindness, thoughtfulness, and a token of appreciation for you (as big or small as you choose or can currently afford). Make this day and every day a testament to loving you.

How to cultivate self-love

  • allow for self-compassion

  • prioritize self-care

  • practice positive affirmations about yourself

  • express your uniqueness and practice authenticity

  • act on the things that bring you joy

In the upcoming days when you reflect, possibly through journaling, think about how you will be true to yourself. I’d like to present a gentle reminder, don’t overthink it. Loving yourself is free. Although there is a cost. It will likely cost you the time, energy and work put into decidedly not settling and doing the emotional labor necessary to experience a relationship with yourself differently and consistently. Here’s to self-love and the beauty and freedom that comes with it!

Ever Onward,

Zen and Jess

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Toia Nash
Toia Nash
Feb 11

Thank you for this blog. My show love is to compliment at least 3 people everyday 365 days a year. You never know who might need . Care, kindness, and compassion are free, a great gift that keeps on giving! Love this blog! Waiting for a podcast!

Zenisha Gibson
Zenisha Gibson
Mar 09
Replying to

What a beautiful habit to practice, Toia! I agree 100%! You never know who needs to hear it❤️

We’re grateful that the blog is resonating with you. Please share it with your community.

We’ll definitely give some consideration to a podcast! Thank you for your support.

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