What’s love got to do with it ?
Have you ever bought a gift for someone that you would secretly like for yourself?
Or tried to encourage someone with something that, in reality, you could do with some help with?
It’s funny, there are so many different ways that life shows us what we need, but we don’t always notice. Too busy paying attention to other people’s business. Losing sight of our own.
I originally had the idea for starting this blog on Valentine’s Day 2021. I started wondering about self love, what it might feel like, how do we know if we love ourselves and what if it appears unclear? Does that mean we don’t? Or worse, can’t? I thought if self love was available, it would be a wonderful gift, one that I might like for myself.
On that Valentine’s Day I felt my self love status was best described as ‘unknown’.
One reads a lot about the importance of loving oneself, but have you ever knowingly had a conversation about it. What does self love mean? Why isn’t it talked about? Is it all or nothing or on a spectrum? Can you fall out of love with yourself? Does self love get stronger or weaker with age? Can self love be taught or is it either there or not, like faith? Can you love another if you do not love yourself? Can you love yourself without liking yourself? Can you be truly happy or successful if you don’t love yourself?
Using the L word can be a pivotal moment in a developing relationship. For some people, such as my Father, it was a word never used. For others it is used so frequently it appears to almost lose its meaning. The L word is one of the most important words in the human vocabulary. Love is accepted as the strongest and most important emotion. Love is the most portrayed and written about feature of human experience. Most of us can relate to the intensity and location of the emotion we know as Love, artists, writers, performers, neuroscientists and psychologists all have something to say about Love, whether it be brief or endless.
But what of self love? The unspoken love that some may take for granted is an anathema to others. For some it is seen as unhealthy narcissism and totally rejected. ‘I didn’t get where I am today by loving myself!‘ But we all know that what is generally accepted as success in life does not necessarily bring happiness. We know that true success is liking yourself, liking what you do and how you do it. Perhaps liking is the start to loving. Could this be more achievable?
My starting point will be that some degree of self love is part of normal healthy human experience. Come with me . Let’s journey together.