Love means a lot of different things to different people; some will view in the context of agape whilst others will see it as a meaningful bond between two romantic partners, or family, and perhaps even friends.
There is, however, one component of love that is often overlooked and placed on the backburner… which is that of self-love.
See, there’s a need to practice self love, as self love isn’t a final destination - it’s a journey, and in some ways it’s a daily battle against your fears, doubts, insecurities and societal conditioning from airbrushed models on magazine covers to some of the limiting beliefs our parents passed on to us.
A lot of people struggle with this area of their life and can often feel like something is wrong with them, as a result of not having high self worth, self esteem or self confidence; when, in reality, the majority of people in the world do not have these emotional tanks very full within themselves.
See, self love is a practice just like how yoga is a practice - you don’t do it once, and then you’re flexible. It’s a practice.
Similarly, self love is a feeling and a belief that we must generate for ourselves… it’s not something we can obtain from a book or by visiting https://personalloan.co/ to facilitate a spending spree of external things that feel good in the moment, but don’t have a long lasting effect on our confidence or feelings of self-worth.
Indeed, today we expend a lot of energy looking to tackle internal challenges with external solutions - as an example, we hit the high street for some retail therapy to compensate and distract us from the hurt or vulnerable feelings we feel inside; yet this approach is temporary at best.
That said, if you shift your focus to buying things in order to pamper yourself and nourish your body such as a candlelit bath or a relaxing massage with essential oils then retail therapy becomes less about distracting yourself with extravagant purchases and more about tending to yourself. This is much more positive.
When it comes to our relationships, the challenge we have is that if we don’t have a healthy level of self-esteem and self-love we end up giving love in order to receive love, almost out of desperation, and operate from a depleted, somewhat needy state where we are needing to be filled up like a car being filled up at a petrol station.
The truth when it comes to self love is that it’s something we must generate for ourselves, as nobody can feel truly loved by another unless they first have a healthy level of self love.
If we are dependent on getting love from someone else it makes our happiness contingent on receiving something from that person, who is an external source we have no control of - we can’t force that person to give us love, yet when people feel so desperately low in love reserves, this tends to be when people start to behave in controlling ways.
Similarly, when we lack self-love, we end up chasing people that don’t always treat us with value, in an almost addictive need to get their love or approval.
The solution, and the secret to self love is that you must take responsibility for generating a feeling of self-love and self-value for yourself. It’s not something that is going to come from another person, nor is it going to come from a pair of fancy shoes - it’s something that requires deep work, patience, and practice.