Love is not an emotion; it is your very existence. – Rumi
How often have we felt the flutter in our hearts? How often have we named it Love? We spend a lifetime sailing through this fallacy to appease our insatiable hunger for Love. Yet we never really learn the truth of it. We spend our waking hours furtively in search of another, hoping to find the perfect one. Then we love, hoping to be loved in return. And if feelings don’t echo back to us in measures of our expectation, we bury in self-pity and decadence, often extending it to the other who is unwilling to participate in our proposed fairy tale. We malign our souls such, in this quest, when in reality, we are only always looking to give and receive. Maybe more to receive than to give.
But love is not only about give and take. It is not an arrangement. And definitely not the barter of hearts. It is us in whole, our very existence, every living cell, and every part of us. We are it. Yet when one proclaims their love for self, we are quick to judge and brush them off as self-obsessed and run to drop our vote of disapproval. Has it ever occurred to you that if you don’t love yourself if it doesn’t reside within you, what is it that you so willingly want to give away to the one who appeals?
On the social platter, I see pictures of gorgeous creatures – things of beauty, people, and places – often self. Maybe even a cute smile, a pretty dress, toned abs, a dance recital, baking or cooking. Something people love about themselves and I think how wonderful it is. How full of love they are! I also see the other lot often frowning at such proclamation of self-love. Ridiculing you to believe you are wrong. That it is immodest to love yourself.
It is not that, then you are wrong. You are wrong when you believe you cannot absorb yourself first in the love you so generously save for others.
Everything begins and ends with self-love. When you know you alone are responsible for ‘You’. When you realize you have only this one life to be your best version. When you begin to love yourself without apologies or explanations, you become content. And with content comes acceptance. Acceptance negates expectations. And without expectations, you skip disappointments. Thus creating positive relationships around you.
Love is ‘us’ and by returning the love that exudes from us, back to us, you come full circle. Within this circle, you then may or may not include others who are worthy.
And because you are already full of love, you don’t need another to fill the void that might otherwise be. You don’t seek any validation from anyone but in turn, learn to extend yourself to others. Accepting them wholly into you, without any condition, even in their inability or unwillingness to offer anything to you. Such is the power of self-love.
Now, self-love does often share a blurred boundary with narcissism and there is a fear of crossing over. But narcissism is self-obsession. It denies acknowledgment of any feelings or opinion others around you might carry and often refuses to accept imperfections or bow to consensual possibilities.
Self-love rises above all this. It leads you to an awareness and evaluation of self, of your flaws and imperfection and yet to love yourself anyway. It lifts you to another dimension of understanding and acceptance. It leads you to realize that no matter how or who or what you are going to be ok. That you got your own back and that you should be unapologetic, unashamed and undeterred in loving this wonderful being – YOU.