Home: A Place Where One Resides by Kayla McCullough
All my life that definition has been changing. There was the suburb where I grew up, the college town where I first planted my roots, the city that will forever have my heart, the beach community where I lived every summer. There was the tired apartment on Main Street, the four-bedroom house I shared with friends in college, the four walls of the bedroom where I first fell in love. There were the streets I wandered, the bars I’d spent my night at, the highways with no names where only my tires left tracks. And there are places I have yet to experience, resting somewhere off in my uncharted future.
Each of those places’ lays claim on a part of my heart. Each of those places are both familiar and natural. Each of those places I have and will learn to call home.
And yet, the only place that has stayed consistent, the only home I have been able to return to again and again, the only home that hasn’t left and is forever within me and to which I am inextricably tied—my body—this breathing, living shell. My body is my home and I want to celebrate it.
What does it mean to have self-love?
Self-love is such a difficult process to navigate, not only because it takes time, and patience, and tenderness, but because there’s also this shame that seems to grow within us when we cannot find it. We are constantly sold this idea of self-love — it’s relayed to us on social media, in advertising, within the music we hear, and the shows we watch. The world is constantly saying “Just love yourself” and so when we can’t, or when it’s difficult, we feel sad, or guilty for not being able to achieve that or see ourselves the way others see us. It can be deeply confusing. But the truth is — we’ve all been hurt, and we’ve all dealt with things that have convinced us we are hard to love, and we deal with so much comparison daily. Understandably, we’ve in a way grown distant from our souls, from our hearts. It’s a very human thing to struggle with. So, below we’ve written out some tips that are meant to affirm you on your self-love journey and encourage you to give yourself the love you so effortlessly give others. Because you deserve it — you always have.
Loving yourself means coming back home to yourself.
In a world that sometimes convinces us we must change or edit ourselves to be loved, it is so important to reintroduce ourselves to our souls again. If you are struggling with fostering self-love, try asking yourself who you truly are, deep down. Ask yourself what you like, and dislike. Ask yourself how you want to feel when you go out into the world. Ask yourself what your non-negotiables are, what your standards are, what you never want to settle for again. Really think: Who are you when you’re alone with your mind? When you’re not trying to be everything for everyone? What genuinely makes you happy? What ignites you? And while it can seem overwhelming to sit alone with yourself and ponder those questions, it’s a great first step towards showing up for yourself.
We should all love ourselves in every sense of the world, not just because we should, but because the world will never love us in this way. As women, we owe it to ourselves to claim our bodies, our homes, and to dwell there in celebration. Each of our homes are different.
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