Self-love is simple on the sunny days.

It’s easy to believe in yourself when you’re striving for success. It’s simple to accept who you are when you are getting promoted or winning someone’s heart or defeating a seemingly undefeatable challenge. It’s effortless to fight for yourself when you’re already winning the battle.

But that’s also when it matters the least to do so.

Here is the truth about when self-love actually matters: it matters when you’ve screwed something up.

It matters when you’ve been trying too hard, pouring all too much of yourself into something, only to have it all fall apart.

It matters when you’ve let yourself or someone else down.

Because these are the times when it takes true strength to love yourself.

These are the times when you need to be a bigger, better, more understanding version of yourself than even you knew you were capable of being. These are the times when you have to be willing to take a long, hard look at your own life and realize that you’re imperfect, but you’re going to keep fighting for yourself anyways. You’re going to keep on showing up for yourself.

Because that’s the only way any of us ever get better.

We have to fight for ourselves even when it’s difficult and thankless and abnormal.

Even when we disgust ourselves. Even when we’re mad at ourselves. Even when we have a thousand miles left to travel between the person we are and the person we want to be, and there’s no ending of this journey in sight.

Because those are the times when we need to show up for ourselves the most. Those are the times when we vigorously need to be on our own teams. Those are the times when we need and ought to fight for ourselves the hardest.

Because if we simply detach from ourselves every time we make a wrong decision, we fall back into the same pattern of pain and self-destruction, time and time again.

It’s not until we start owning those parts of ourselves, examining their creations, and doing the hard work of actually changing them, do we start to actually get better.

Even if that means fighting for ourselves when we want the absolute least.

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