The concept of self love is touted as the root of so many things, from great relationships to abundance to confidence. From New Age gurus to fashion magazines, the words Self Love call out, imploring us to love ourselves first. But why? Why is it so important, and why is it so damned difficult sometimes? How do we attain this state of self love and what benefits will we actually feel?
Let’s begin with the concept of Self. As a good friend reminded me, it’s not a static concept, so the idea of loving one unchanging, ‘core’ Self is difficult right from the start. Are you the same person you were 10 years ago? 10 months ago? 10 days ago? Some parts of ourselves we believe to be the ‘core’ of who we are may remain the same, but are they the sum total, the definition of our Self? Are all the things we did that we believe were so horrible important parts of the Self equation or can we forget about them? Is the soul part of the Self, is it the Self, or does it contribute to the Self? The soul is housed in the body on this go round, and its sole purpose is to grow. Are they one and the same?
No wonder it’s so difficult to find a safe harbour in the middle of this self storm. Why do ‘they’ keep telling us to love ourselves? What does it mean? How do we get there if there is no there to get to?
The one thing we all have in common, across species, across space and time, is Love. We are all born with that core quality shining in our tiny bodies, we all have the capacity to give and receive it, and to live in it instead of in fear or hatred. Perhaps our Self is in fact this sparkling core of love that instead of loving, we simply have to find somewhere in the course of our life. Loving the Self is finding and loving Love itself, within us and those around us.
Why is it key? Because without this knowledge, this understanding of ourselves as valuable, and worthy of that kind of love, we reflect whatever value we do believe we have on everyone and everything around us. Anyone or anything that loves you is then credited (in your unconscious patterning) with being worth about the same as you, meaning that if you believe yourself worthless, they are worthless, as is their love. In fact they are in some way flawed for loving you, which adds to the disdain you might feel for them. How could they possibly be worth anything if they love someone as worthless as you? This then plays out in relationships, causing people to look beyond their partner for validation of their worth (not necessarily cheating, but if their partner tells them their work is fantastic they won’t believe it because their partner has no value).
Nothing outside of ourselves can give us validation of our worth. It’s a fallacy that a degree or job or house or car or person will ever be able to make you feel that value in yourself. So instead, look for that core of love that exists in you, and once you find it, don’t let it go. Value it, give it freely, don’t worry if it comes back to you in a certain way because there’s so much to go around it will never run out. Keep finding reasons to spread it around, and know that this core, this beautiful thing that we all share, is the most valuable thing in the world. It gives you your value, it gives your life meaning and purpose. Soon, you’ll begin to give so fiercely and so passionately that you don’t even care if you get anything in return because it feels so good to give. The paradox is, you begin to see more returns than you have before, because you’re not giving in order to get, but in order to provide value. You’re giving something you hold so dear, so close to your heart, that others connect with that energy and feel its worth in their own hearts.
Then open yourself up to feeling renewed connections with others, knowing that their love for you is worth so much, as much as your own love, in fact.
About Jenny: Also known as 'The Catharsis Coach,' Jenny loves exploring life's twists and turns through the lens of transformation. When she's not writing, she's coming up with new ways to help people move through change with grace and ease.