First of all, Naliaka, I am so grateful for this honour. Thank you for recognizing the work that I do at my blog and inviting me to add on to the amazing work you do on this platform. You write so openly and vulnerably and my goal is to keep it as authentic as you do.

I know it’s an anthem today. LOVE YOURSELF! All the blogs, including this one and mine, are screaming this powerful and liberating message. A few graciously go-ahead to tell us how to begin this spiritual journey of self-love. It sounds good on paper but we definitely know the tedious and uncomfortable work this can be once the journey begins. “How do I love myself if I legit don't like myself and the situations I found myself in?”

Self-love to me has never been a destination but a journey that begins with awareness and acceptance. I am sharing from different areas of my life that needed to be accepted and brought to light to finally be able to begin embracing the person that I am. I hope you relate and know that you are capable of self-love.

1) Family
All families have their own set of drama and a tinge of dysfunction. Of course, mine was not an exception. I come from a blended family that did not/ does not blend so smoothly. It was hard growing up because I had 2 moms that did not particularly agree on things and a dad that was doing his level best to make sure that his kids had a sane upbringing.Our home had laughter, warmth,and safety. But it also had fear, confusion and pain. Both experiences created the person that I am today. For a long time, I desired a perfect family,parents and story because I only saw the negative experiences and found nothing to love about this part of who I am.Chimamanda talks about the dangers of focusing on one side of the story. It robs us of the sweetness of the full story. And the full story has some light,lessons and beauty. I began letting go of how I thought it should have been and now accepting how it is. This has allowed me to love this really big part of who I am and work on the unhealthy beliefs I picked up that do not serve the kind of life I desire to live. It has enabled me to understand that my 2 moms and dad did the best they could with what they knew and had.Accepting this part of my life led me to believe that I could accept myself and eventually love my life and create my story.

2) Body
We cannot talk about self-love without talking about accepting our thick thighs and wobbly tummies. At least for me. Wow! I hid myself for so long because of the insecurities I felt about my body. I hid my laugh, my tummy, my joy and fire because id did not meet standards set by society of what they deemed ‘cute’.There was a time I could not remember the last time I had actually looked at my naked body on a mirror. Okay, I’m over-sharing. LOL. I asked a few of my girlfriends if they looked at themselves in the mirror, naked! A few said yes. I realized that I was running away from myself just by not being able to look at myself. How do you love someone you run away from? Someone you don't want to see? So I started small. I began with  affirmations that did not just involve my face and spirit, ignoring a whole body that stood right in front of me. I would take some time after a shower to look at myself. It felt weird at first because nothing had changed and I definitely did not meet all of society's crazy standards.Standing there and not running allowed me to empathise with myself.I realized that I was not being fair with myself.I was out here hailing praises at other peoples bodies and depriving myself of that love. Guys, the hype began! I would stand there and love on my curves,dimples and thick thighs through affirmations. I would thank my body for all that it did for me and promise to honour it through care, love and expression (flattering clothes). I know body image can be a huge deal when it comes to self-love and your body might not need to change but how you speak to it might need to take a turn to allow you to be able to fully be yourself.

Whew! This is where the drama is. You think you're prepared for this one up until it begins and you realize that you are not prepared at all. Can you relate? Accepting and loving who you are at this stage of life is just MAGICAL. It makes the process and journey way bearable and hopeful.I remember right after I graduated from Uni I took a job that paid peanuts and left me more broke than I was because I couldn't just accept the fact that I cannot afford all the things that my peers were seemingly affording.

There was also the fact that my friends were getting married, moving out of their parents’ homes and seemingly landing the jobs of their dreams. Everyone just seemed to know what they’re doing apart from me.I still live with my folks, my love life couldn't be crazier and the fact that I am just getting used to going to job interviews and negotiating salaries. All this translated to PRESSURE and feelings of failure. I am still working on accepting my life and where it is. I realized that God has written our stories differently and that means different timelines.Cultivating gratitude and patience has helped me a lot. I keep a gratitude jar where I put in tiny sticky notes that document all the blessings and milestones in my life.I store them there until the next year where I open them slowly in with a glass of wine in celebration.

Loving yourself is an intentional practice that begins with self-awareness, self-acceptance and empathy.I am still on that journey because I am still alive and we become different people through the process of living.Therefore all of who we become still needs love and acceptance. I hope you begin the journey and if you have already,keep shinning!

My name is Dorsila and I run an award-winning blog (BAKE AWARDS: Best New Blog 2019) at that focuses on helping men and women live their best authentic lives. I am also a certified life coach. I help men and women get unstuck,own and create the life they desire. Click here to get to know more and book yourself a free session. I cannot wait to meet you.