The truth about self-love reveals that personal growth isn’t always as glamorous on social media.
In the age of self-care content, social media platforms are flooded with images of bubble baths, face masks, and affirmations, promoting the idea that self-love is all about pampering oneself. However, behind the beautiful facade of having figured things out lies an uncomfortable truth—the unspoken side of self-love that isn’t always a party.
While the movement encourages us to embrace our worth and prioritize our well-being, it doesn’t address the challenging aspects of personal growth. More often than people realize, self-love requires an honest exploration of our flaws, insecurities, and the hurdles present in every person’s 24 hours—aspects that aren’t always easy to confront.
Amidst the pamper sessions and the allure of becoming ‘that girl,’ here’s what I’ve learned about the realities of self-love.
Band-Aid Solutions vs. Self-Care
Truth be told, there’s a difference between Band-Aid solutions and genuine self-care. When people confuse the idea with coping mechanisms, it’s literally like slapping on a Band-Aid to make you feel a bit better, but missing out on actual progress. Yes, your 3AM shopping sprees wouldn’t contribute to your personal growth—it will make you happy, but it’s one of those dopamine boosts that will drain you afterward.
Loneliness in the Pursuit of Happiness
With the twists and turns that come with self-discovery, it will feel like you’re flying solo. The truth is, if you’re doing this to become the best version of yourself, not everyone from your current circle will understand and be there until the end. After all, we’re always heading down different paths. While the idea of being alone is an admittedly sad reality, take this moment to toss out your toxic friends, family drama, and habits that don’t align with your vision—typically, it’s the people or things that no longer serve your well-being.
No Money, More Problems
For most people, going out on getaways, spa days, or a little break from the bustle are amazing self-care sessions, but that can break the bank. The not-so-fun fact is that everyone isn’t free-flowing with cash sheds light on self-love as a luxury. If you’re a student still dependent on your parent’s money or an employee, the idea of being able to take good care of yourself isn’t equally accessible and sustainable for everyone.
Understanding that you’re perfectly imperfect demands considerable courage. With unrealistic societal standards, escaping expectations that often overshadow the beauty of ‘being you’ usually doesn’t allow people outside of social media platforms to realize their value without seeking validation from others. Just imagine how much easier our healing journey could be if we weren’t so obsessive about a curated feed filled with likes and comments.
Self-Reflection and Realizations
Engaging in self-love is like having a heart-to-heart with yourself, confronting shortcomings, and acknowledging those areas where you could use a little TLC. It’s not a walk in the park; it’s more like a rollercoaster ride, where you dig deep into the parts of yourself you might have always avoided.
Setting Boundaries Isn’t Always an Option
A crucial component of self-love is setting boundaries – saying no when it’s necessary and prioritizing yourself. However, in a society that values perpetual productivity and people-pleasing, enforcing boundaries can encounter resistance. For instance, respectfully rejecting an extra project to prioritize personal time might be disapproved in a workplace setting that equates ‘being busy’ with success.
The Gen Z Grindset Mindset
The picture-perfect idea of self-care involves treating yourself to soothing activities, but let’s get real—time management isn’t ideal for most people. Though it really shouldn’t, it always seems to revolve around work-related routines; there are those days when taking time for yourself feels like a guilt trip, especially with a stack of responsibilities staring you in the face. Sure, blame the balancing act on the Gen Z grindset mindset, where the hustle seems to be the default mode.
Obviously, this shouldn’t stop you from practicing self-love. But it is important that expectations are set accordingly because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Everyone has their journey to inner peace with its own hurdles and challenges to deal with.