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This may be controversial but… I am not a fan of the “self love” movement. It’s something that I’ve felt really heavy on my heart for a long long time but never really had the courage to talk about publicly. It is my opinion that the idea of self love is toxic and should not be glorified in the way that is currently is.
What I mean is, the whole “treat yourself” thing or the “put yourself first before anyone else” kinda attitude. And look, I don’t think it’s all bad, depending on your heart and what approach you take with this. But overall, I don’t think it’s something we should be telling people is “normal” or “right”.
Toxic Self Love Advocates
A while back on Instagram I saw a very popular influencer post something on their story that said “no shade but I’m only going to be celebrating the people who celebrate me”. I’m sure most people read that and thought “heck yeah!”
But would Jesus say that? Do you think Jesus only loved and celebrated the people who loved and celebrated him? Nope!
Sentences like that tend to be empowering, right? We all love to refer to each other as “queens” to show how special we think we all are.
And yes, you ARE special. You are unique and amazing and beautiful and all of that. But not by your own doing. You ARE those things because that’s who God says you are.
WE ARE ALL SINNERS
I think so many of us get caught up in this idea that we put in all the work, and we deserve the world because we are just so great and superior. And frankly, I think it’s quite gross.
Now again, this is a slippery slope because I am not saying you are not special. And I’m not saying that having confidence is bad. But having confidence vs. being arrogant are 2 vastly different things.
Thinking the world owes you something just because you exist is weird.
Saying things like, you will only show love and support to love who love and support you first is kinda terrible.
Personally, I believe that we are just making ourselves extremely selfish by saying stuff like this.
SELF LOVE IN DATING
And before we get too far into it, I also want to say that I am super guilty of being this way, saying these things and doing it. As humans we all have in one way or another.
As a teenager and young adult dating, I would say things like “I’m a man eater” as if that was something to be proud of. Like I was happy to be the girl to break all the boys hearts and then move onto the next.
Not my proudest moment.
SELF LOVE IN MARRIAGE
Now that I am married, I think about this idea a lot as well. What if I had the attitude of “I am only going to do something nice for my husband if he does something for me in return.
Or “why should I do something nice for him today if he hasn’t done anything for me recently?”
You cannot give and be generous if you are expecting validation or something in return. That is not true generosity.
In the covenant of marriage you are essentially giving yourself to someone else. Meaning you are not just you anymore. You are one with someone else.
This goes both ways, with men and women. Although I feel like it’s much more apparent with women than men. Women tend to think of themselves as a prize that men must earn. And that men must lust and chase after us. But what are we doing to earn the man? What makes us so special over them?
Ladies, hear me out.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. But so is he. We are all children of God and we must all view each other as such.
FILLING YOUR CUP
Have you ever heard someone say “you cannot pour from an empty cup”?
Well, while it is true, I think society tends to take this to an extreme.
Self love days seem to be a very trendy thing across social media. Almost every single evening without fail, I see someone post about their “self care” routine.
Which usually consists of a bath, and skin care routine. This is always kinda funny to me because shouldn’t this just be considered good hygiene?
And look, there is nothing wrong with an evening to yourself every now and then. No one is saying don’t have a relaxing bath after a stressful work day. BUT I want to encourage you to try something a little different sometime.
In those times when you feel like you need a self care or self love day, instead of pouring into yourself, try pouring into someone else. Call up a friend and ask how they are doing. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger.
I would probably bet to say that while filling that other person’s cup, you will fill yours too.
All in all, these are just my thoughts and options, and if you disagree with me, that’s totally okay. But please understand my heart in this and why I feel so passionate about this.
Our society is a wild place, and it is teaching us so many habits that are just not good.
We have higher rates of anxiety and depression than ever before, and I really and truly believe we could heal ourselves by showing a little compassion to others and be more selfless.
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I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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