The Key To Self Love

07/07/18  |  Ally Bongard  |  1817 views

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We all need and most importantly, deserve… LOVE. However, we more often than not tend to focus our energies on caring for, and unconditionally loving the important people in our lives that we choose to surround ourselves with. As a result of this, we can frequently overlook one noteworthy individual in particular – ourselves.

Take a brief moment and ask yourself this question…

“Who is going to put me first?”

Can you say with complete and utter confidence that you know the correct answer to this question? If not, I am both excited and eager to be able to introduce you to the important concept of “self-love”. This concept is important for a diverse number of reasons, one being that the best person to love you, is YOU.  

If you fail to adequately take care of yourself as an entity, the likelihood that your ability to take care of others, such as the important people in your life, will become increasingly more difficult. On the other side of the spectrum, if you are happy and comfortable in your own unique skin, then taking care of others and loving others becomes more natural, more effortless, less stressful and ultimately, a much more positive experience.  Although this is a progressively popular concept, it is vital to understand that it is most certainly not defined by actions such as purchasing a full stash of makeup at Sephora, or by purchasing an entirely new designer wardrobe. Self-love runs deeper than materialistic goods that have the powerful ability to make one happy to a certain degree. It has more to do with internal feelings about yourself.

I spoke with Jasmine Lorimer, Canada's first Bachelorette to catch up on her life post show, and to see exactly how she practices self-love through 4 unique ways.  


Tell me a little bit about why you decided to become the first Canadian Bachelorette? 

I was approached by a casting assistant but wasn't aware at the time that the show was being produced. The timing was appropriate since I had just moved away for a change of pace and was contemplating my next steps, wondering if/how I was supposed to meet someone. 6 weeks later, I was off! I loved meeting new people, pushing my boundaries and learning about myself. It's definitely a unique experience.

You found love with Kevin on your season. How did you bounce back from heartbreak?

Kevin and I knew that things needed to change. It was difficult for both of us and at times it still is, but we have always remained friends and we didn't leave things on a sour note which was helpful.


SELF-LOVE THROUGH SELF-CARE
Believe me when I tell you that if you effectively take care of your basic and primary needs, you are more likely to appreciate yourself in ways that may have appeared unimaginable. This can be achieved through a magnitude of actions such as eating healthy, being active, getting an adequate amount of sleep, engaging in feel-food intimacy, positive social interactions and relationships, and so on.

However, it is important to understand that these actions will vary depending on the individual.  This is what makes one person diverse from the human being to their left, and from the human being to their right. Regardless, it all comes down to one trait in particular that we should all possess – kindness. Treat… yourself… kindly. Support and care for yourself in the exact same way that you would choose to support and care for a family member or friend. Choose to nourish yourself with self-love.

As you have such an active role on social media, how does that translate into ensuring that you maintain self-love for yourself?

It is challenging, as we all know, to navigate those social pipes and keep your head on straight. I constantly find myself comparing to other people... whether it's a lifestyle, someone else's body, their ability to travel.... I do it all the time without even realizing. But I think it's important to maintain that awareness, knowing that not everything is as it seems. It's expression, not reality. If anything I do, say, or share has a positive impact on someone, or inspires them to do something they haven't done before, then that's amazing. If I had the ability to spread some positivity to one person, I'd be satisfied with that. 

Through social media, people like to criticize. How do you deal with such circumstances?

I just block em! But honestly, I've felt so lucky to have so much support throughout the show and afterward, and I feel like everyone is so sweet to me. Maybe us Canadians really are just that polite. 

What do you love about your life the most right now and why?

I'm loving the journey, honestly. Things are always changing and evolving and I'm really just sitting back and letting it happen. I'm enjoying the potential. There are times where I want to control certain situations but limiting your expectations can usually mean that you won't be disappointed. So being open is important. Day to day, I'm passionate about art, beautiful places, interactions with people, the outdoors, travel, my family


SELF-LOVE THROUGH FORGIVING YOURSELF
FOR-GIVE-YOUR-SELF!

You are human.

You will absolutely, without a doubt, make mistakes.

We as human beings can be tremendously hard on ourselves. While it is imperative to ensure that you take accurate responsibility for your actions, continuing to harshly punish yourself for making that mistake, is not. Through mistakes is how we experience, learn and most importantly, grow. I stand by the importance of ensuring that you accept responsibility and then take it as a learning experience because if you fail to do so, then that is an entirely separate issue. If it becomes repetitive, then it becomes a problem. Until then, accept the fact that you are HUMAN. Those that love you will almost always understand – I promise.

Once you come to terms with this concept, you will love yourself that much more. Knowing that you have done everything in your power to make things right and then forgive yourself is what truly matters. Be less hard on yourself when you screw up and have more self-compassion. You have learned a lesson, you have not failed.

Never forget to maintain optimism throughout this crazy thing we call life!

What does self-love mean to you?

Self love is respecting yourself, being firm with your boundaries in all areas of your life, forgiving yourself for your mistakes and constantly encouraging yourself to learn from them. I practice self-love by doing things I love. 

What advice would you give to someone struggling with self-love?

I think learning about yourself is so important. All of us have been through hardships. Breaking things down and understanding who you are and why you respond to things the way you do, will allow you to get to know yourself. You can't love anybody without getting to know them first, so start with you. 

Are you able to easily forgive yourself for wrong-doings?

Not always initially, but I try.


SELF-LOVE THROUGH SETTING BOUNDARIES 
Loving yourself can be accompanied by setting boundaries that best suit your individual lifestyle, requirements, wants, needs and desires. Pushing yourself past your breaking point, to the point of no return is just not acceptable, whether that be in regards to work, or your social relationships for example. By doing so, there is no doubt in my mind that you can severely damage yourself physically, spiritually and/or emotionally.

The key to internal happiness coincides with your ability to set reasonable and realistic boundaries for yourself on a daily basis. Ensure you are doing this in order to avoid any potential harm to your own feelings about yourself.

What does putting yourself first in certain situations mean to you?

Putting yourself first doesn't mean being selfish. To me, it means setting boundaries and respecting yourself.

Tell me one great thing that has happened in your life either on the show, or post-show?

On the show, I spent hours and hours in front of the camera, talking, digging deep, and confessing my feelings. I came to a lot of realizations about myself through that process and although I like to think of myself as a pretty introspective person naturally, I think it made me a lot more self-aware. I feel more confident with myself.  

I can see that you run a very successful Instagram page. How important is it for you to tell your story to the world, and put your life out there?

I enjoy sharing experiences and connecting with the women (and men... although there are very few) who follow me. As I said earlier, I LOVE beautiful places and I'm lucky enough to feel surrounded by them, living where I am. I've always loved taking photos and documenting my experiences so it's fun to continue with that.


SELF-LOVE THROUGH PROTECTING YOURSELF
ALWAYS (I repeat…always), bring the right individuals into your life. If someone that you have chosen to surround yourself with genuinely cares about your happiness, success and well-being, then keep them around. If they get off on your pain, loss and suffering, then do yourself a favor, and tell them to take a long hike in the opposite direction of where you are going.

As we all know or should know, life is way too short! Whether you want to believe it or not, your time is very precious. It should absolutely not be spent on those who prefer to throw things in your face or thrive off of holding more power. Unnecessarily holding on has the ability to weigh very heavy on our souls, which can negatively impact our personal self-esteem.

Protect yourself, but also do not forget to protect your meaningful friendships and relationships.

Having your story shown on television must be a difficult thing, especially when strangers feel the need to interject on all aspects of your life. How did you deal with coming off of TV, and integrating back into the real world?

I took a small break from social media following the finale and blocked many many many people. Not everyone was pleased about how things ended.

What advice would you give to those mending a broken heart?

I always say go on a trip. That's been part of my process for years. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to connect with yourself again.


Are you currently in love? We all want to know, Jasmine! If not, are you ready to find love again?

I have recently started seeing someone. We were friends for a while prior to dating. He's pretty amazing and I'm just excited to keep enjoying time with him. So far, I can tell you he's a keeper. 


Take a moment to think about whether or not you are good to yourself. Treating ourselves poorly can wreak havoc on many components of our lives, which is why it is so important to engage in self-love and self-compassion. The road to self-love is not always straight, and it can be very bumpy and windy from time to time. It is a journey.

It takes more than what was noted above. It takes patience, dedication, full blown effort and of course, practice.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” — Buddha

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