I love to read. I don’t really care for the love stories, but introduce me to a book involving vampires, ghosts or almost anything supernatural and I’ll be entertained for hours. Don’t ask how my fascination with these topics came about because I have no idea.
Anyway, I recently stumbled across this fantastic book that I think every girl and woman should treat themselves to. Okay, so maybe “stumbled across” isn’t the right term. A good friend of mine wrote it and I love supporting friends, so I bought it. And let me tell you, it is one incredible book--easily one of my favorites.
The book, First Love, is wonderfully written about a way to guide you in the right direction in the process of loving yourself. If you’re like me, you know how hard that can be sometimes. The doubt, the fear, the feeling of not being enough for anyone--it can be hard to overcome. So this book is filled with all the positivity and encouragement to get you started.
It doesn’t have all the answers. Why? Because there’s no “right way”. Everyone’s journey is so unique; this isn’t a one-size-fits-all.
The whole premise of the book can be summed up with one sentence found on page ninety-one. “Your relationship with yourself is the longest relationship you’ll have.” How simple yet incredibly true is that? Friends and significant others come and go, but at the end of the day you’re the only one you see in that mirror.
This book is about empowerment! Women are incredible. Our bodies go through incredible things and can still function normally when it’s all said and done. As women we sacrifice so much: sometimes our identity when we choose to get married, our sanity when and if we start having kids, and our sleep when those kids choose to be wide awake at two o’clock in the morning.
But with all those great things comes a great pressure. The society we live in today makes it hard for young girls growing up with social media everywhere they look. Yes, social media can be a blessing but it can also be a curse. The idea of beauty has warped our perception of ourselves and I think we all fall victim to that.
The numbers on our scale have to be under a certain point, we have to have a flat stomach, our skin has to be free from any blemish, our thighs have to have a gap between them. But I think my favorite is: wear a full face of makeup on a daily basis or you’ll never find a man. It’s disgusting!
Guys can be cool and all, I’ll admit that. I’ll also admit that I’ve wanted one for years but have never had one. But I think this society has become too dependent on a guy’s approval. If we don’t have a husband by the time we’re thirty then there must be something wrong with us. If we don’t get married and have kids by twenty-five, we must automatically be unhappy and lonely.
This book talks about how ridiculous those ideas can be. It helps realize that it’s okay to be selfish as long as you find a balance with being selfless; it’s okay to say no to plans with friends if you want to do a face mask and hit the gym. Taking time to get to know yourself better can make a huge difference. Who knows, you might find out how funny you really are.
A big message throughout the book is the idea of forgiveness. You cannot really reach your full potential if there are grudges that you are holding against people you care for or once cared. It can be hard, especially if you feel like what they did was inexcusable! But don’t do it for their sake, do it for yours--for your own growth! Your sanity will thank you.
But while you’re forgiving others, you should forgive yourself too. That goes for anything: small mistakes and big mistakes like trusting someone and regretting it. Learn to laugh at yourself and keep laughing. Do your best to find positivity in every situation.
Nobody is perfect and nobody will ever be perfect. But your imperfections are what make you, YOU! Embrace every part of you. The good, the bad, and everything in between. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. You are not on this journey alone!
***I did not anticipate this being as long as it turned out to be, but that just shows you how amazing the book is. Congrats to Manuelita and Nikka on their success! Much love to both of you!