What is Self-Love? A Celebration in Words…

All too often when people talk about love, they focus on romantic love. That’s kind of backwards though because self-love is the most important thing in my book. If you are lucky, your parents teach you how to love yourself, leading by example. Since many of us come from dysfunctional families and because societal expectations are often so shallow we are often left to find this out for ourselves. 

It takes a lifetime to learn to love and accept yourself. Yet, it is the foundation upon which all others are built. If you fail to take the time to love yourself then you will never truly be able to love another. Why? Because people can compliment you but only you can fill you. This is why so many people search desperately for relationships to make them happy and yet when they arrive they are still empty and confused. They made the classic mistake – they looked outside.

Self-love brings with it the benefit of self-acceptance, balance and inner peace. Mastering self-acceptance allows you to extend the gift to others. Your expectations become more realistic and by extension you learn the art of forgiveness. It also lets kindness in which we need in a world that all too often seems quite mad and indifferent. When we love ourselves, we understand the dividing line that exists between us and others, so we are not quite so needy, or dependent and demanding, because our happiness resides within and everything else is just gravy. Personally, I am a big fan of gravy lol. So why do we expect some magic person to come along and make us happy? Haven’t you found quite often that they do not? They might want to but guess what we all come with baggage and scars. When they want the same thing from you, it becomes a perpetuating cycle of dysfunction. I suppose this is why I hate the phrase, “You complete me.”  I want to be complete in myself, thank you very much. 

It took me many heart breaks before I learned this lesson and I am still learning it, still practicing it. It is all too easy to turn your focus outward when all you can ever truly be sure of in life is your self. So you better be sure that you’ve got yourself on lock. And guess what? Self-love can never be taken from you under any circumstance. How many things can you say that about?

The following poem is my ode to Me 🙂

Beautiful But Not Perfect

I look at myself

and I know

I am beautiful.

All chocolot brown

and gorgeous hues.

I look at the slope of my collar bones.

See the richness of my lips.

Hear the articulate smoky sound

that is my Voice.

I touch the softness of my skin

and run my hands

along the curves of my too full thighs.

I see all things below me

and know more truly

the majesty of my height.

This is the Me that everyone sees.

I know my spiritual imperfections,

invisible to the naked eye.

A long litany of complaints,

that make me sigh.

I wear them on my sleeve,

Yet manage to hold my head high.

I look at myself

and know that I am

Beautiful but not perfect.

I know my soul quivers

at fear of the unknown,

But I know too

that my heart has withstood

many a tumultuous storm.

I see my tears falling

and only I understand

the complex web of emotions

which spurn their creation.

An external embodiment of pain

which despite my best efforts

I cannot contain.

I look at my life

and littering the landscape

are all the dragons I have slain.

My past looms behind me

and with its greedy grasp

it tries all too often

to drag me… back.

The lessons I have learned

and selves I have shed

in a seeming eternity of seconds

which have elapsed

as I pressed on….Unaware,

are friends, yet enemies

of my future selves –

Seeking to unfurl.

I look at myself

and know that I am

beautiful but not perfect.

I carry my spiritual badges of honor

where ever I go

and in my imperfections

always know that I am Here for Me

which is more

than I could ever ask for.

I struggle on this journey,

hoping that the incandescent light

of my imperfect spirit

will grow and swell

with all the beauty

that Life contains

and one day it will not matter

that I am

Beautiful….but not perfect.

2 thoughts on “What is Self-Love? A Celebration in Words…”

  1. It’s taken me 38 years to get to the point where I like myself, and I had to lose everything that mattered to me and endure some pretty bleak moments to discover that my inner strength is worthy of my own love. How screwed up is that? And it seems to be the paradox of the human condition, that to love ourselves we have to go through difficulty before we can see our true selves.

    I’m happier now than I’ve ever been, and my hope is to continue growing as a man and a person until I am the best possible version of myself.

    1. “And it seems to be the paradox of the human condition, that to love ourselves we have to go through difficulty before we can see our true selves.”

      Absolutely true. We have to take the lumps on our journey with a grain of salt because everything that happens to us, bad or good, contributes to who we become. Since you are happier now and it has refined your goals it can’t be anything but good… 😉

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