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Love has many names and definitions. Its meaning changes depending on who is asking and who is being asked (and when). It evolves over time. Love shifts colors, sheds skins, and switches directions. It can be fickle, or it can be the strongest force to be experienced in a lifetime (and, perhaps, beyond?).

Similarly, love thyself has to be one of the most wonderful and at the same time challenging pieces of advice we could give or receive. After all, self-love is the beginning of every other love. It’s so multidimensional that it escapes explanations and definitions, but here’s our attempt at putting everything we know about this heart-shaped feeling into words.

There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice. ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Self-love is kindness

Under the weight of expectations, our shoulders sometimes bend and we forget to be gentle with ourselves. Turn off the news, log out of social media, make a cup of tea and focus on your breath for a few minutes, or go for a walk with your thoughts allowing your mind to take a breath in movement. Tenderness, warmth, and self-care are all synonyms of self-love.

Self-love is forgiveness

Is your past less than perfect? Maybe you keep reliving failures and mistakes you made because your knowledge and experience were insufficient at the time? Or maybe you are still battling the consequences of numerous rejections and abandonment? Whether you need to forgive yourself, or those who wronged you, self-love is letting go.

Self-love is acceptance

Is the present moment messy and overwhelming for you? Has the workload become unbearable? The phone cannot stop its incessant buzzing and there are so many tabs open in your head that you can hardly function. Press pause and think for a second. The privilege of building the life of your dreams requires your acceptance of an uphill battle, aka another incarnation of self-love.

Self-love is patience

Is your future laced with more questions than clarity? Have you been feeling lost for so long that somewhere along the way you stopped enjoying the journey because the destination seems like a vague concept? You might be tired of hearing this but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Give yourself a little more time. Self-love is called patience.

Self-love is inner peace

True Zen may well be one of the hardest states to achieve but if you are willing to meditate, journal, or nature-walk your way to inner balance, you’ll quickly find out that self-love is healing. Slow mornings, your favorite music is, or a cup of coffee are all building blocks of self-love. Whatever calms down your soul and brings you harmony will wrap you in love.

Self-love is fun

You deserve an evening to unwind, let your hair down, and even paint the town red. Prioritize yourself. Allow your rituals to extend beyond the walls of your house or a spa from time to time. Self-love can be a little bit of craziness, a little bit of joy, and a little bit of wine. Unless fun means something completely different to you, in which case go do what excites your heart.

Self-love is art

Because love is a feeling, it paints landscapes in our chest. There is only so much cold data can measure for us. At the end of the day, we are human and that means emotions––colorful strands of energy that self-love urges us to accept in all their complexity. Art is the art of love.

Self-love is a lesson

It teaches us what we like, what serves us well, what brings us joy, what makes us relax, and who we want as friends and chosen family. It also helps us understand the inner workings of our happiness and that there may be people or activities that contribute much less to our flourishing than expected. Self-love is making room for more value in our lives.

Self-love is self-reliance

Your experiences, your skills, and your wisdom will get you far. Provided that you have faith in your own abilities and strengths, self-love means self-sufficiency. With your inner voice as a guide, you can grow beyond what you anticipated of a dream life. Trust yourself = love yourself.

Self-love is you

It’s very personal. Your flaws, weaknesses, whatever you like less in yourself – embracing all of you, the way you are, is the greatest gift of freedom that you can give yourself. It’s liberation of the highest order. And amplifying your strengths and showing what you’re capable of to the world lies within this definition just as much. Self-love is SELF-love.

When we google synonyms of self-love, we quickly realize that the internet is missing the point. True love for yourself means finding your own synonyms. It would be unfair to reduce Valentine’s Day to a red, glittery balloon, or a discount code in your favorite shop, right? Equally, self-love is nothing less than the discovery of your depth and meaning for the purpose of living your life with intention.

Here, at Intelligent Change, we proudly love ourselves. And because of that, we can love all of you.

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