Lately I’ve really been thinking about what “Self-Love” and “Self-Care” mean, especially when they are used by businesses like Bopo Women. In particular, I’ve been feeling like these terms are perhaps just becoming another thing that we are being made to feel like we are failing at. The world of social media often presents self-love as a permanent destination and self-care as highly curated, when in reality it’s just not that simple.
Self-love is an incredibly complex and ongoing commitment. You don’t just wake up one day absolved from your deeply held limiting beliefs and from that day forward look at yourself and your body with utter devotion. There are ups and downs, twists and turns and sometimes just when you think you’ve got the whole thing figured out, something hits you out of the blue and leaves you feeling like you’re almost back at the start. For those who suffer with mental illness, have a disability or experience structural oppression this is even more complex.
As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, I still regularly experience body dysmorphia and days where I really struggle to be inside my own skin. It is really difficult to love my body and to be totally honest a large amount of the time I still don’t feel like I do. I also haven’t had as much time as I’d like to, to care for myself since launching Bopo Women and many of my regular routines and rituals have fallen to the wayside in the last few months. Does this mean I am “failing” at self-love and self-care? Does it mean that I am not worthy of speaking on the topic or of encouraging others to try and cultivate compassion towards themselves? No, because being on the journey is enough. In fact, it is the deep self-love I have worked so hard on cultivating that allows me to forgive myself in these moments and to give myself the permission to be exactly where I am. To understand that life isn’t static and that I am truly doing the best I can.
The same goes for self-care. It isn’t just vanilla bean soy candles, long bubbles baths, meditation and journalling. Those things can be nourishing, healing and fun, and may be part of your self-care routine when time allows, but self-care is about making space for your needs as much as you possibly can in whatever ways are available to you. That could mean making yourself a cup of tea first thing in the morning, lying on your office floor at a certain time everyday and stretching your body, finding small ways to be in nature, canceling plans that you don’t want to go to, saying no, drinking enough water, eating foods that make you feel good emotionally and physically when you can, moving your body or not moving your body. Or, literally a million other different things that contribute positively to your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
As women, we have been socialised in so many ways to internalise our own “failure” and inferiority. We have impossible standards piled onto us, from how we should look, to how we should speak, move and relate to others and ourselves. Let’s not make self-love and self-care just another set of standards or labels that burden us and leave us feeling inadequate. No matter where you are at in your self-love journey, yesterday, today and in two years time, you are enough. Whether you meditate everyday and have beautiful, lengthy self-care rituals in your life or whether your current self-care routine is as simple as drinking enough water or taking your medication, you are enough. What these terms mean belongs to you and part of your self-love journey is defining them for yourself.
We are excited to bring you two beautiful Roll On Oils by Bopo Women in our September Box! Each box will feature either Self-Love or Self-Care Roll On sacred elixir which have been carefully crafted with love & intention to support your self-love journey. All Bopo Women products are vegan, 100% natural, and cruelty-free.