One of my favorite songs on J Cole’s latest album 2014 Forest Hills Drive is a track called Love Yourz. The song talks about being content with your situation and life regardless of what it might look like in comparison to another persons’. The message of the song is so relatable in this period of time that we’re living in. When you turn on the television the lives of the rich, beautiful and famous are glorified and glamorized. When you log onto social media sites your timeline is flooded with the lives of people who are showcasing to the world a picture perfect life, and for most the picture that they’re painting is far from perfect. What we see are illusions and those illusions cause a lot of people to become envious and depressed because they’re comparing their life to someone else’s.
The song also makes me think about self-love. I don’t think people realize how important and almost vital it is to love yourself before you decide to begin a relationship with another person. I’m realizing this now in my life more than ever. One bad habit that I have is looking in the mirror excessively. Some might consider it vanity but honestly it’s me over analyzing and critiquing what “I” consider to be flaws when I look in the mirror. Sometimes I find myself even comparing my appearance to others and wishing certain features I have were different instead of just embracing my uniqueness. I’ve never really considered myself to be overly insecure or someone that lacked confidence but over the past 2 years life dealt me some hard blows that caused me to second guess so many things about myself including my worth, my physical appearance and my importance.
I realized how much I needed validation from others about my appearance when I started my natural hair journey about 2 years ago. One day I decided to wear my hair in a new style and I remember looking in the mirror smiling and thinking to myself I really like my hair and the way that I look. Later that day I met up with the guy I was dating at the time and as soon as I opened the door to greet him his first words to me were “you look different!” followed by a shocked look and laughter. It was obvious he didn’t find my new look as flattering as I did and to make it worse he made jokes about my hair and appearance. I remember how insecure his words made me feel and how uncomfortable I felt going to work the next day out of fear of how people would perceive my new look. When I walked through the doors at my job my co-workers eyes lit up and they expressed how beautiful they thought my hair looked and how well the hair style suited me. I felt a sigh of relief because I received my validation to let me know I looked good. Realizing how much I relied on validation let me know that I definitely had some internal work to do. I feel like if you can’t look in the mirror and say I love myself and like whose staring back at you in the mirror than there is a problem.
Over the years I’ve invested a lot in relationships with significant others while neglecting one of the most important relationships I can have; that’s the relationship I have with myself. As this year comes to a close and going into a new year I made a vow to work on loving myself. I want to love myself, date myself, get to know myself more, and be content with only needing my validation before I allow someone else in my life. Loving yourself is an action that is easier said than done and I know it will take time but it’s an investment that is so worth it in the long run. How you feel about yourself can affect so many areas of your life and it plays a huge role in the relationships you have with others. It’s difficult sometimes not to get caught up on the physical and outward appearance because it’s what we see immediately. I know that the true reflection of who we are resides inside of us and I want my internal beauty and light to shine through to the outside.
This article was also featured on Confessions of An Ambitious Girl.