Embracing the Journey of Self-Love
Self-love is often a personal voyage, but Melody Godfred of Fred & Far jewelry is on a mission to transform it into a widespread movement. She aims to empower women to choose themselves fearlessly and unapologetically, symbolized by the Self-Love Pinky Ring. When I acquired my own Self-Love Pinky Ring duo this spring, I was thrilled to discover an entire community of self-lovers that came with it.
Over the past decade, I have purchased two self-love rings as reminders to prioritize myself. However, there is something distinct about acquiring a ring individually versus being part of a larger movement and purchasing a self-love ring in solidarity with others.
Embarking on the Self-Love Journey Alone
Love has always been a powerful force in my life, but unfortunately, I tend to fall hard when relationships come to an end. I’ve had a few significant breakups that left me feeling lost, as I had neglected to prioritize my own well-being. It was during these heartbreaks that I realized the importance of loving myself more.
Without love and compassion for ourselves, we cannot fully love another person. As Melody Godfred wisely states, “Self-love fuels all love.” So, in 2012, I set off on my own self-love journey. After a challenging breakup, I made it my mission to treat myself with the same reverence and adoration I had shown my past partners. I started taking myself out on dates, relishing moments at a cozy café or exploring new restaurants and galleries. I reveled in the beauty around me, both externally and internally, while indulging in simple pleasures like chocolate truffles or a glass of moscato paired with a movie. It was a gradual process, but over the years, I have genuinely learned to love myself. I am amazed by my ability to continuously reinvent myself, my drive, my beauty, and my passion. Now, I genuinely love who I am, and I never want to lose that.
That year, I decided to solidify my commitment to self-love by purchasing a self-love ring. Similar to an engagement ring, a self-love ring is a token of dedication, but instead of committing to someone else, it is a commitment to oneself.
I hadn’t planned on buying a self-love ring, but while visiting Palo Alto, California, I stumbled upon a vintage diamond ring (pictured above, left) at a charming antique store. It captured my attention immediately and became a symbol of hope and self-dedication. I wore it every day until 2015 when I got married and received a more extravagant diamond ring that outshined it. I stored my self-love ring away and admired my engagement ring instead. Although I still cherished my self-love ring, the engagement ring boasted a stunning diamond and halo that overshadowed it. Consequently, I rarely wore my self-love ring.
Looking back now, I wish someone had advised me to give my more modest self-love ring the recognition it deserved—because two years later, my marriage ended, and the engagement ring no longer had a place on my finger. I felt lonely and stripped of love, a love I could have given to myself if I had continued to cultivate self-love on a daily basis.
Instead, I found myself in an identity crisis, having invested in a future that would never come to pass. My unassuming self-love ring sat forgotten in my jewelry box. Every time I glanced at it, I felt a pang of shame that the most remarkable and beautiful ring I owned was a gift from someone who was no longer a part of my life. Even the engagement ring had been returned out of respect.
Therefore, in 2018, I designed a ring that would serve as a grander testament to my self-love—a ring that would be with me forever and that I would never feel ashamed to wear. I chose a yellow sapphire set in yellow gold with a diamond halo (pictured above, right). This exquisite piece represents my resilience and radiance, reminding me that I am capable of anything, whether I am alone or in the company of others. It serves as a symbol of my self-love and self-worth—I am a strong, capable woman who loves herself.
Discovering a Community of Self-Love
Fast-forward to 2021—a year that called for revitalization. It was during this time that I experienced yet another love-related setback, but this time, amidst a global pandemic. These circumstances were not conducive to romantic self-dates or solo weekend getaways. Instead, we all found ourselves confined to our homes, left to grapple with our thoughts and emotions. Virtual hangouts, chats, and my cats became my sole sources of comfort. (And even my cats had better things to do!)
Nevertheless, armed with a decade of self-love practice, I weathered the storm. Although my mental health reached an all-time low, I bounced back faster than ever before by recognizing the need to double down on self-love and self-care. I sought therapy, took time off from work, and focused on myself.
As part of my healing process, I decided to purchase a Self-Love Pinky Ring duo from Fred & Far, a company I deeply admired. Coincidentally, I had recently acquired Godfred’s book, “Self Love Poetry for Thinkers and Feelers,” and was amazed to discover that she was not only the author but also the founder of Fred & Far—a brand I had followed for the majority of the year.
I had been contemplating a Self-Love Pinky Ring, and finding a kindred spirit in Godfred through her book and jewelry company further solidified my decision. (Interestingly, I am also writing a book of reflective, biographical poetry and own a jewelry company!)
I reached out to Fred & Far, inquiring about the possibility of customizing a ring duo. While the classic Self-Love Pinky Ring features a lab-created white sapphire in up to 14K gold, I wanted to tailor the center stones to suit my preferences. Additionally, I prefer gold of at least 18K purity. To my delight, Godfred herself responded on Instagram, confirming that they could create a custom 18K setting with a variety of other stones to choose from. We settled on a beautiful duo featuring strawberry quartz and gold rutilated quartz. Unlike diamonds and white sapphires, which are valued for their flawlessness, quartz stones are most exquisite when they possess unique inclusions—flaws, if you will—just like each of us. Godfred personally selected a stunning combination of quartz and set out to customize my rings. Meeting the woman who initiated this inspiring Self-Love Movement and wrote a book brimming with empowering words was an absolute dream come true.
As an imperfect human being, the quartz stones resonate with me. They symbolize the beauty of our imperfections. Why strive for flawlessness when being flawed and beautiful is truly remarkable? My self-love journey is not solely about celebrating my strengths; it also involves acknowledging and working on my flaws. These flaws have led me on incredible adventures and taught me invaluable life lessons.
However, self-love looks different now compared to a decade ago. What I appreciate most about my experience with Fred & Far is that I have become part of a self-love community. Self-love is no longer a solitary pursuit; it has evolved into a movement driven by impassioned and empowered women who choose themselves every day. With the emblem of the Self-Love Pinky Ring, we commit to being, loving, and choosing ourselves. In that commitment, we find unity.
Embracing Self-Love Openly
I envision a world where everyone feels inspired to love themselves and is encouraged to wear that love openly.
As an avid ring enthusiast, a self-love ring resonates deeply with me. However, different individuals may gravitate towards diverse self-love tokens, such as tattoos, necklaces, or pocket-sized mementos.
Regardless of the form it takes, a self-love token is a potent tool for redirecting our energy when we feel drained or overwhelmed by external factors. As we give so much of ourselves to others, it is crucial to maintain a reserve for ourselves.
I am thrilled to possess a collection of self-love rings that serve as reminders to prioritize self-care. Moreover, I am ecstatic to be part of the Fred & Far community, where I stand united with other women who have taken the self-love vow.
In the lyrics of Bea Miller and 6BLACK’s self-love anthem “it’s not u it’s me,” they proclaim, “Self-love ain’t selfish.” So, go out there and embrace self-love, ladies! And don’t hesitate to wear your self-love openly—whether on your sleeve or your finger.