For Grace Wilson, a freshman from Bowling Green, self-love is an ongoing process that she has come a long way with.
“One day I realized that not liking yourself is exhausting,” Wilson said. “Like, what’s the point? I’m mine before anyone else’s. I have to live with myself for the rest of my life, so why make this so hard on myself?”
To practice self-love, Wilson began to look for things she loved in herself instead of picking out everything she hated. Wilson’s favorite parts about herself are her smile, her goofiness, and that she can shamelessly dance almost anywhere. When in need of a self-love or confidence boost, she turns to poetry and music. Christian music is particularly important to Wilson.
“Some days when I feel like I can’t love myself, it reminds me that God loves me enough for the both of us and so much more,” Wilson said.
Brian Edmonds, a 2018 alumnus from Hopkinsville, believes self-love is not only loving yourself, but also loving others. Edmonds practices his own self-love by modeling. Edmonds’ favorite parts of himself are how he expresses himself, the passion he holds for the things he enjoys, and his skin color. If he met himself, Edmonds thinks he would love himself because of how considerate he is towards others.
For Edmonds, modeling motivates him and has positively impacted the way he loves himself. Edmonds said the first step in achieving self-love is accepting who you are – the parts you love and hate.
“Love yourself enough to fix things that could harm others,” Edmonds said.“Once you are self-loving, your mindset becomes more leveled. We’re never perfect, but try to stay grounded in your morals and beliefs.”
Peter Fleming is a graduate student from Pembroke studying clinical mental health care. He said he believes when it comes to self-love, you have to date yourself and be able to enjoy time alone. He said he likes practicing yoga, rock climbing and biking because they keep his body healthy and feeling its best.
“Finding things that I’m passionate about that are not dependent on somebody else is important,” Fleming said.
Fleming said finding out who you are and what you enjoy is key to achieving self-love.
“You carry yourself wherever you go,” he said. “Your body, spirit and mind are all going with you on this journey. You have to let those things grow, and that takes a lifetime,” Fleming said.
If he met himself, he said he thinks he would like himself, but there were times in his life where he probably would not because he didn’t love himself as much.
Tyler Hardy, a junior from Fort Campbell, said she thinks she has not fully achieved self-love, but she has come a lot further in her self-love journey by embracing things about herself that she can’t change.
Self-love is something she’ll always try to work towards and influence others to strive for as well.
“I always try to be myself and create an environment where people feel like they can talk to me,” she said. “I try to essentially just do what I please, be in my own world, and enjoy life the way it is..”.
Her favorite part about herself is that she is always able to take something positive away from any situation.
Hardy is in ROTC and has a family members in the military, which she said had a big influence on her. One takeaway from her time in ROTC is the phrase “embrace the suck,” which means if you can’t change your current situation, you might as well learn to love it, she said.
As a film major, Hardy loves editing and she gains confidence from perfecting seamless cuts. She said those are moments when she loves herself the most.
“Doing something I love and getting better at my craft, those are moments where it’s like ‘this is why I’m doing what I’m doing,’” Hardy said.
Making small steps towards self improvements like waking up early, doing yoga and drinking water are all important self-love practices for Hardy.