“Your life is a journey of learning to love yourself first and then extending that love to others in every encounter,” Oprah
Daydreaming about the second part of my novel, Fabulous Veils, I imagined myself playing a role in it. A Personal Coach for my three main characters; Madiha, Gameela and Fatma. Helping them in loving themselves first.
How to practice Self-love?
Acceptance. The first step in the journey of self-love is acceptance. One of the main struggles of women in our era is their appearance. Their endless pursuit to become slimmer, more beautiful, more attractive. It became a syndrome; the Bridget Jones syndrome. “A major survey in the United States revealed that most women are suffering from this unfortunate syndrome. Symptoms include lack of body confidence and a total preoccupation with our looks. Ninety per cent of the 5,000 women who took part of the survey said that they were ‘depressed’ by the appearance of their body,” Lynda Field
“Telling myself that I have a bad body made me eat even more. I learned to tell myself I have a good body and this made me care for my ‘good body’ hoping to make it better,” my teenager client declared. Accepting herself from such a young age, how fantastic!
Filling Your Cup..
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” First. Not only to care for yourself. But first. This is the second corner step in practicing self-love. Considering ourselves as our top priority while looking at is as a selfless act. Contradicting all the misconceptions we were brought up to believe. Bringing them down the way Prophet Ibrahim, with his ax, destroyed the statues and rejected his people’s idols.
Had Gameela loved herself, she would have been able to accept herself the way my fifteen-years-old client learned to accept herself. Why a teenager is able to coach and love herself while adults aren’t able to do it? Figuring out the reasons wasn’t that hard. We, the older generations in my community were brought up to believe that ‘to love yourself is a selfish act’. Blame yourself, feel guilty, don’t think of yourself, put yourself last, never feel satisfied with yourself, seek perfectionism, keep pushing yourself, never praise it and the list goes on to what I, and most women in my community, were taught.
My main message to all Women in March, the month of International Women’s Day and the month of Mother’s day is Accept yourself and fill your cup. Love yourself first. It’s a selfless act. And remember the words of Sharon Stone: “The most radiant woman in the room is the one full of life and experience.” Not the one with the best shape, make-up or outfit.