|Now, can I get an amen in here?|
I would say that I still feel that way in part. It's a simplistic idea that doesn't consider people who learn to love themselves through the love of others, nor does it take into account the unconditional love that people feel for their family or close friends. There are many people who struggle with self-love, but know that they are loved by others and that knowledge is what keeps them struggling with it rather than giving up all together.
While all of this is true, I'd like to explore the truth that I see in the phrase itself, because these days I see a lot in it, but only once I picked apart what it actually means. I've broken it down into three major points that I've picked up from the subtext of that simple phrase.
1. Self-love is self-improvement
2. We accept the love we think we deserve
3. In the moments where love can hurt badly, your own self-worth becomes a buffer
Part of what makes the love I feel for those around me better now is that I've been able to take the time to understand the relationships between us. It's easier for me to acknowledge when I've been an asshole, for example, when I'm not shaken to the bone at the idea of being seen by others as a bad person. Any issue or mistake that proves the little voice in our heads right can be devastating, but if there is even one thing that you can love about yourself it cushions the blow. When self-loves doesn't move into the territory of arrogance, it can actually give you space to acknowledge your flaws in a more positive way. You start to notice places where you could be a better friend/child/partner to the people around you and have the energy to make changes rather than being stuck in the negative space unable to do anything.
|Image via CreateHER|
My final point is that I'd ask you to notice that I always speak about working towards self-love rather than achieving it. I can say honestly that I'm not 100% there yet, and that most people are not either. However, that doesn't block you or I from the blessings that self-love can bring. Any movement towards it is beneficial, and I believe that is another piece of nuance that the original phrase is missing.