All you need is love . . . love . . . love is all you need.
Is it true that love IS all you need? For the sake of this post, let’s say the answer is yes. The All-Holy day of celebrating love, after six weeks of in-store Valentine’s Day advertising, finally arrives this weekend.
But this isn’t a post about Valentine’s Day. God knows the universe is being bombarded with 45-bazillion posts about V-Day.
This post is about one of my favorite topics: self-love–the very stuff our mamas used to say was self-ish.
I don’t know about your upbringing, but I was often accused of being self-absorbed, wallowing in self-pity and engaging in too much self-analysis.
All of which led to self-abuse with alcohol and drove me away from self-love.
What’s (self) love got to do with it?
As far as I can determine, we humans are the only species capable of loving ourselves. We possess this incredible, unique gift that other creatures–like the Wallabies and the Jackrabbits, for example—would dearly love to have, and yet we’re groomed from infancy to feel guilty when we show self-love.
Ironic, isn’t it?
To be clear, the self-love I’m championing is not arrogance, egotism, pride or narcissism. In fact:
Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself. ~ Tyra Banks
In theory, those four words–accepting all of yourself–seem relatively uncomplicated, doesn’t it? But for those of us who spent several decades searching for self-acceptance, those seven syllables are more likely to cause trips to the grocery store for pints of Ben & Jerry’s.
At least we’re not going for pints of liquor.
As promised, qualities of self-love
Self-love has lots of first-string qualities you’ll want playing on your home team. They are, in no particular order, all hyphenated words starting with self:
Confidence Discipline Support Regard Assurance Care Employment Worth Taught Interest Esteem Exam Help Protect Acceptance Assertive Promotion Appointed Respect
Imagine how much healthier our world would be if we all elevated these qualities of self, which each stem from self-love, to a higher level. Can you imagine?
The bottom line is you simply have to put yourself first. Oh sure, we chuckle when we hear air travel personnel instructing us to put our own oxygen mask on before assisting others, but isn’t that the truth? If you want to be present to anyone else, you must first be your own present.
Give yourself the gift of self-love. Sit with each of the 19 qualities shown in the box above. Meditate with them. Breathe them in, just as you would breathe from the oxygen mask.
You are worth each and every one of them.
Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. ~ Whitney Houston
Photo courtesy of markgraf