Treat Yourself Kindly- The Healthy Relationship You Actually Need

We all know the phrase, “You can never truly love someone else until you love yourself first”.

However, nobody ever elaborates on what self-love really is. It isn’t a self obsession or simple narcissism. People often mistake self-love for being selfish but it only involves putting your own needs first. It is the understanding of being valued and feeling good enough.


Aera is 17 years old. She hates looking in the mirror because it shows her a person who does not fit the local beauty standards. She cries for hours on end wishing that she was thinner and that her shoulders were not so wide. She felt like a giant considering her broader build.

All she saw in the mirror was her exterior looks. She failed to look beyond those lenses crafted by society to see herself as what she really was. She didn’t understand that her body’s function was not to look pleasing,

Guilt consumes her as she realizes everything that she forgot to thank.

Her arms:

They grab objects and help carry out tasks. They embrace others in a hug. They provided the comfort and safety that many people have needed before. Her hands can hold the hands of others, as she guides them through bustling streets.

Her legs:

They carried her from place to place. They never faltered, not even in the worst moments when Aera felt as if her legs would give out from her trembling. They helped her walk away from situations that were better to avoid.

The ‘fat’ on her stomach and body:

It protected her organs. It kept her warm on cold winter nights.

Her eyes:

They helped her see all the beautiful colors in the world. Without them, she would be unable to see the face of the man she loved. She would never be able to see her brother-in-law lovingly caress her sister’s face in complete adoration.

Every part of her body did its job without letting her down, and she never thanked them.

So this time, when she saw her reflection in the mirror, she had a lot to say. Firstly, she said the simplest of words.

She said, “Thank you for keeping me alive.”

Then she moved on to what she actually wanted to say.

She said, “I’m sorry I have been unable to appreciate you for so long. I’m sorry I did not thank you before. I’m sorry for the days I would scream at you in hate . No matter what people say, I’m so glad you were there to keep me alive.”

She recognized that as long as she could appreciate herself, nobody else’s validation would be necessary. All she needed was her own love.

She discovered the true meaning of self-love.

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