Learning to love myself was something I always knew was important, but I didn’t know what it looked like. I grew up learning about “loving our neighbours as ourselves” in Sunday school, which was confusing to me. The notion of self-love, especially in a faith community, seemed incongruent—even selfish. In this context, it was as if self-love was assumed, but never accompanied by a how-to on loving myself in the first place.
Practicing self-love seemed even more dissonant to me when I consigned myself to the humanitarian field as a passionate twenty-year-old human rights advocate. Quickly, I discovered that being part of a “cause” meant my work was strictly about the wellbeing of others, never about my own needs.
When trying to take care of others when I wasn’t taking care of myself took me down the painful path of burnout, I knew something needed to change. Reserving all my love for others while leaving myself with an empty well wasn’t working for me anymore.
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