I have to admit, in the past I have seen self-love as a selfish pursuit of self indulgence. Especially as an immigrant living within North America.
For me, growing up in a third world nation where we often survived with what we needed more than what we wanted and pushed through difficult circumstances (rather than run away)- I learned to not only deny myself but to judge those that put themselves first.
However self-love and self-care became something detrimental to my survival in this broken world after being diagnosed with postpartum depression.
Going through postpartum depression taught me I needed to put my self first. I needed to take care of myself and say no to being around toxic people and situations. I needed to admit the moments I needed help and especially admit to times I needed a break.
As a follower of Jesus I believed He wanted me to live a life of suffering for Him. As a mom, this looked like denying myself rest and pushing myself too hard.
What I had forgotten is that God suffered on the cross for me to have freedom and joy. As His word says, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross…”
Hebrews 12:2 NIV
He commands us to love each other just as we love ourselves, (Mark 12:31). But truly if I treated others as I treated myself I would tell everyone to figure things out themselves and rely on no one. Because that’s how I treated myself.
How can I love others if I don’t know how to love myself?
Kaylee Jernigan, the creator of bath and body brand, What Love Is, focuses on this aspect of faith in Jesus Christ. She inspires the world to love themselves as Jesus loves them through the way they take care of their skin.
Here is Kaylee to tell us more:
My name is Kaylee Jernigan and I am the 17 year old founder of What Love Is.
What Love Is is a Christian, bath and body company centered around the promotion of self-love. The core verses of the company is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which elaborates upon the Biblical definition of “love.” For example, 1 Corinthians 13:4 details that “love is patient” and that “love is kind.”
By establishing these verses as the core of What Love Is, the company is then able to center each product around what this verse describes love as.
To elaborate, our Body Butters correlate with “love is kind” as the hydrating ingredients in the Body Butters are “kind” to your body.
As for the heart behind this company, I started it as a way to tangibly promote the concept of self love in a Christian environment.
Often, Christians focus so deeply on “forgetting oneself in humility” that we fail to remember we were hand-crafted in the image of God. Self-love should come from a healthy understanding that we were all created intentionally and for a purpose. That even when we fall short we still have a Father who loves us so completely.
Furthermore, as a teenage girl who has both watched her friends struggle with self harm, body image, and mental illness, as well as struggled with these things myself, I understood the importance of this concept at a young age. In fact, I started this company with my best friend, as we walked through this throughout most of our teenage years.
She eventually stepped out to pursue her own photography business, and I now run What Love Is by myself. This company is simply my way of doing something about the pain that comes with an unhealthy lack of self-love.
To put yourself first in a healthy and life giving manner shop now at https://www.shopwhatloveis.com