“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” –Barbara De Angelis
Do you love yourself?
If you’re a Southern woman, as I am, as soon as you hear that question, you’re thinking, Well, I do, but… And then you start adding all sorts of caveats after it. In the south, we’re brought up with the Biblical adage about not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3). We recognize, abstractly, the importance of self-esteem, but have a difficult time applying that to ourselves.
To me, loving yourself means according yourself the respect you would give any other human being. How often do you find yourself saying things in your head about yourself that you would never dream of saying aloud to your spouse or your child or your boss? We hold ourselves up to such a high standard, and pounce the moment we see some infraction.
I think it’s a defense mechanism, personally. I want to establish my unworthiness before anyone else can say it. But lack of self love isn’t part of the renewal/reinvention mindset. (As an aside, as I’m typing this in Word, the program underlined “self love” in the previous sentence, wanting me to hyphenate it. Beneath that, it listed a definition: “egotism, selfishness, egocentrism.” See? Even Word thinks it’s a bad thing!)
Loving yourself means you care for yourself, and want the best for yourself. You can’t provide a drink of cool water to the thirsty if your own well is dry. We understand that kind of love doesn’t mean egotism or boasting about how wonderful we are. I need to recognize my faults, sure, but instead of beating myself up over them, I need to work on them in a loving, caring way.
Have compassion on yourself. Be your own valentine.