In our search for love in our lives we need to first love ourselves. I’m not sure we are teaching our children this important life lesson. They may have every gadget, access to anything on the internet and may not understand what it means to go without, yet I’m not sure our lessons on self esteem have taught them how to truly love themselves. Self esteem is not the same as self love.
There are a multitude of definitions for love out there, most applying to romantic love. What I’m talking about is loving who you are – flaws and features included. We cannot truly give our heart to someone if we do not know what is contained within it. We cannot give our own love away if we do not understand loving ourself first. No matter your demographics – age, gender, race, eye color, talents, aptitude or habits – we must accept and love each element of our soul to be able to bring a genuine love to another relationship.
So when things go wrong in our relationships what did we not understand about ourselves or the other person? Too often we each hide or ignore elements of ourselves to try to be the puzzle piece that fits to make it all work. Sometimes those lies we tell ourselves eventually catch up with us and prove to be fodder for our emotional demise. Only when we are fully honest with ourselves and others will our relationships be fulfilling and lasting.
So we’re back to where we started. Loving all the parts of ourselves serves as a foundation for healthy lives and relationships. Maybe today is a good day for self reflection to understand what prevents us from truly loving ourselves. We can face it and deal with it or allow it to be the thorn in our life. For as this quote tells us, love is above all else the gift of oneself to ourselves and others.