Last week, as the city grew back in abundance and the people were falling in love with its cooler clime, I began to somewhat fall out of love. Not with the city itself but with my usual spot and my usual theme. So I diligently allowed myself to change it.
Then this week, as I found myself dining at the terrace of a friends house in the mountains of Garraf, I reflected on the situation and smiled at my impulsive decision to stay for a week. I supposed it was a manifestation of self love, I grappled. That’s when I raised the topic with my friend.
Much to my delight it took us to lengths as we discussed and debated the serious nature of the topic.
The next morning I decided to raise the question with our community of readers to see what they had to say. I was not surprised to see that my inbox was inundated with responses. I sensed it was one of those topics close to other people’s hearts too.
Here, in summary, is what some of those voices had to say…..
Self love is essential when it comes to a healthy life. It comes down to loving yourself and knowing what you deserve and knowing that others should respect you. Self love goes so deep and is totally essential to living a happy life. It’s the ultimate gift you can give yourself and it should be mandatory because it’s as important as drinking water. We grow when we love ourselves. It pushes us and motivates us to make our dreams come true.
I think it’s also about accepting yourself as you are. Whatever state you are in and whatever weight you may be and however you look and whatever situation you find yourself in, you should love yourself with all your imperfections.
(A motivational speaker and writer)
It’s about loving yourself unconditionally. When you love yourself, you love God. We are all part of him.
(A school teacher)
To me, self love never has the same answer. It’s always evolving depending on where you’re at. It’s about taking serious the voice and need inside of me. Right now I have it with music and dance and need to give it space to nourish this part of me. I really think you also need to protect this voice against all the things and people that stop you living with it.
Self love is the opposite of self loathing and low self esteem. Some aspects of self are deeply ingrained in us and hard not to do. So the best thing to do is as little self disgust as possible.
(A business leader)
After cleaning the mirror of my heart I realise love. Love is not something we can give or receive. We can’t really fall into or out of love. Love is your true state of being. Love is the oneness of the universe.
(A meditation guru)
Nourish yourself. Not only with food for your body or with make-up and clothes to look good. But you should also nourish your soul. Perhaps you may need an experience or a little treat or more sleep. Self love is about knowing what you like and don’t like and being honest to yourself. For that it’s necessary to know yourself and what fits your life.
This is the only moment you’ve got. Love yourself.
Self love to me is about making yourself happy. Love yourself like you would somebody else. What are the things you would do for your best friend or your partner or your child so that they could be happy? Learn to do it for you. I think a lot of people around me need that. When they can make themselves happy they will be more able to treat others better. For me in this moment it’s about getting more sleep. I’m a new mother.
I don’t know if many can say they love themselves. It’s too vague, too open and too unrealistic. Dare I say a little pompous. Even the most secure and confident person may not love themselves. However I can, if willing, learn how to take better care of myself. Starting an inward journey and beginning a real relationship with myself to be able to listen to my needs, from the unconscious to conscious nuance. Self care is about developing a healthy relationship with self to nurture all aspects of life with compassion and developing practical skills to navigate the harder parts of life.
It means being kind to myself and doing the things I enjoy. The stuff that makes me smile and be happy aren’t always the same as what makes others happy. But it’s good to have the choice and honour that choice.
(A retired nurse)
Anneka and Teresa