What is Self-Love?

November 15th, 2008

Someone once asked me this question.  This person was struggling with their past and the way it was making itself known in their present.  So many mistakes.  So much growth still desired.  Positive self-esteem and self-regard wavering. 

Not an unusual experience, I’m afraid.  Many of us are haunted by past wrongs, abuses and traumas.  We feel like a work in progress.  Loving oneself seems so far away, if not hard to define.

You may wonder how I answered.  I remember saying something like this… 

Self-love is the ability to accept yourself as you are, not in spite of your flaws, but because of them.  Self-love is when we feel warmth for ourselves even when we are discouraged and dejected.  Self-love is when we know that the mistakes we have made in our lives are part of our journey.  When we practice self-love, we are forgiving ourselves for injuries we may have inflicted on others or ourselves.  We are no longer the judge and jury, but the liberator – removing our own shackles.

Is self-love perpetual?  Maybe not.  But, with practice, it can become a habit.  And what a nice habit it could be.  Much nicer than the habits and compulsions of addictions, depression, and self-hatred.

Perhaps I am wrong.  I don’t claim to be an expert in self-love, nor the best practitioner.  Though I do believe that acceptance opens the door for opportunity.  Which is a door worth opening.

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