Lens Of The People: The Importance of Self-Love

Good Afternoon Readers! Lens of The People is a column dedicated to the capture of the real-life scenarios and events in the local Houston area whilst also giving the thoughts and opinions of the Houston community its own voice to speak through.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, plenty of people are gearing up to show their affection for the special people in their lives, buying their chocolates, flowers, and the like. Valentine’s Day has traditionally been a holiday centered around buying things for others and showing your love for them, which has led many to wonder: “What about yourself?”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the buzz of relationships and the commerciality of it all that we forget to take care of ourselves and make ourselves happy. So this Valentine’s Day, my question is this: What is the importance of self-love?

Here’s what the people had to say:

Self-love is important because throughout your life you’ll have highs and extreme lows, and self-love is what keeps us from sinking too deep into self- pity. It gives us the confidence to realize what’s great about ourselves and even gives us the confidence to boast on our lives and give ourselves credit where credit is due. It’s a good thing to realize when you’re happy it’s ok to give yourself compliments, and it’s even more important to understand that even if no one else loves you, that you will always have yourself.” -Kendall Hill

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“I feel like self-love is like knowing who you are and what makes you happy. Self-love can come in many different forms but it’s important to always practice it.  When you do things that you have interest in, that’s a form of self-love! This Valentine’s Day, I encourage us all to practice self- love. Take a relaxing bath, finish up on homework, or just relax! Self-love comes from a unity that you have with yourself.  A commitment that you’ve made for yourself to do better and want better for the benefit of your body, mind, and Soul! Do something that makes you happy this Valentine’s Day!” -Maiya Turner

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“My idea of self-love is simply: if you can’t love yourself, how can you love someone else? A lot of people in our generation get into relationships and don’t know how to love someone, simply because they don’t know how or aren’t capable of loving themselves.” -September Body

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“The importance of self-love, to me, means watching out for yourself sometimes instead of always putting others first, and making sure you have the mental stability to love someone second. My plans of self-love this Valentine’s Day is just going out hanging out with a couple of my friends.” -Maya Williams

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“The importance of self-love, I feel, is making sure your health, physically and mentally is up to par and that you are getting as much rest as possible. My idea of self-love is simply doing what’s best for your body at all times. You want to be able to live your best life as long as possible.” -Janik Alexander

Photographer’s Thoughts

I’m of the opinion that all love begins with you. It may not seem like a particularly difficult concept to grasp, but in the society we live in, where Valentine’s Day is such a commercial holiday, not to mention the various social pressures of not having a spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend, it can be difficult to find the time, let alone the desire to want to do things for yourself. I feel that self-love is a necessity for all people, and not just the single ones either. As a matter of fact, I would argue that self-love is even more of a necessity when you’re in a relationship, so as not to strain or pressure your significant other, depending on them to be your only source of love and affection. The more time you spend on doing little things for yourself, like going out more and focusing on hobbies you like, such as reading or playing a game, the more that life all around you becomes that much more bearable. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with dedicating time purely for you, because everyone’s time is limited and absolutely nothing is promised. That being said, I also believe that going out of your way to meet new people and even create relationships is an important part of self-love as well, as it gives you people to relax and relate with, as well as having someone around to validate the way you feel. Ultimately, alone or not this Valentine’s Day, I encourage everyone reading this to think not only of your relationships with others, but your relationship with yourself as well.

This was Lens of The People, a column dedicated to giving the Houston community a voice and a platform. Stay on the lookout for more, all made possible by The Forward Times!