My Journey to Radical Self Love

Mykalee McGowan

For as long as I can remember, I strived to be perfect. Every Sunday, I would gather my clothes and backpack in front of my bed. I made sure that my hair and nails looked well for school tomorrow. That Monday, I reminded myself to make sure I write perfectly with no smudges and properly organize my desk. “Sit proper, talk proper, and be right” was my mantra. For, my goal was to have a perfect week.

And of course, I failed by Wednesday due to smudging my notebook or shoving my books in my desk. I was frustrated for succumbing to human nature. But there was always next week, so I said fuck it and started the cycle again.

Years later, I frankly don’t care if my notes get smudged or if my bag is unorganized. However, the goal to perfection always stuck. And it has been absolutely detrimental to my well being ever since. 

My frustration as a child developed into self hate. I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t even close to being the perfect woman in my head. Striving for perfection is exhausting. It’s the equivalent of running on a treadmill trying to reach a treat dangling in front of me. I know that I’m never gonna get it! But I still try anyway. Madness. 

What was so amazing about this perfect Mykalee that never seem to manifest into reality? What was so great about her that I neglect the Mykalee that’s right here?

As I entered 2017, I decided that I was going to love myself as is. I realize that the way I practice self love was the same way I tried to be perfect when I was younger. I tried to conform myself to a person I adore in my head instead of loving and accepting me, the one who ACTUALLY exist. 

This epiphany started my RADICAL self love journey.   

rad·i·cal

/ˈradək(ə)l/

(adj)

1.(especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.

“a radical overhaul of the existing regulatory framework”

synonyms: thoroughgoing, thorough, complete, total, comprehensive, exhaustive, sweeping, far-reaching, wide-ranging, extensive, across the board, profound, major, stringent, rigorous

I decided to add the radical in front of self love to show myself how serious and important it was for me to truly love myself. I decided to make a vows to myself based on its meaning.

My radical self love is … THOROUGH

I promise to love ALL facets of myself unconditionally. I promise to keep celebrating the parts that shine bright as well as nurture the parts that need healing. I promise to be self aware and live authentically. 

My radical self love is … RIGOROUS

Pressure creates diamonds. And I strive to be a brighter diamond because I deserve the best. So I give my best. This means releasing any thoughts, actions, people and energies that doesn’t serve me and my vision. This also means implementing thoughts, habits, and actions that are new in order to reach my goals.  Sometimes, this means getting uncomfortable in order to elevate and enhance my life experience. 

My radical self love is … COMPLETE 

There’s no deadline for this journey. It is also NOT a never-ending journey. It’s a lifestyle. Putting myself first during  each improvement, healing, obstacle and triumph is apart of the lifestyle. I am no longer striving for an end result.

That’s it for now. But as I continue to grow, values and ideas will change. Some with advance and others will fall. But nonetheless, it serves one purpose.

To love and care for me. 


In the next few weeks, there will be a few stories from amazing folks about their radical self love journeys. These people have inspired me to pursue my own. So stay tuned. 🙂