Because I understand where she is coming from, and know that people do not like when you speak against or say things contrary to the beliefs they hold dear. And often times, do not have the patience to understand why and what made you have your own beliefs (some can't even stand or tolerate the difference in views), I laughed so hard at the new label she described me with.
In my defence, I told her that I am writing about self-love. Self-love! She said. "What the heck is self-love? Loving myself? Are you talking about taking myself out, bubble baths, buying myself roses and chocolates or is it one of your new age mantra and name for being selfish and self-centered, cos you are strange and I do not understand what you mean this your self love." she says.
I laughed (I like laughing a lot by the way, it takes the seriousness away from life). I explained to her, the concept of self-love, how it affects relationships, self-esteem and confidence is something a lot of people are aware of but because we live in world where the idea of "love" has been constantly abused, commercialized and degraded (these are my views by the way) self-love is a very misunderstood concept. It is not being selfish or self-centered, Wikipedia and Google can bear me witness. (Puts nerd glasses on)
The importance of loving oneself, the filling of that “void” that we often look unto others to fill, which they rarely can, be it romantic relationship/partnership or friend relationship helps distorted expectations of how our partner “should” be and why they are not being that specific way for us. Especially during this valentines period. It helps take away that short time gratification of having someone you think you love until you find out that they are not really filling that "void" for you cos they cannot, nobody can. You alone have the power and ability to do so.
Because you feel incomplete, because you have this emptiness that needs to be filled, you have this "need" to feel complete, it compels you to attract people with the same emptiness like you, people who have nothing to offer except vain words and material things. Who will never meet your expectations and desires? Most of us have experienced this in so many ways and know how it feels and the end result... Heartbreaks, breakups, emptiness and loneliness when you are with someone( yep, been there so many times) and next year, come valentines, you repeat the circle again, looking for love and satisfaction from a traditional ceremony, holding on dearly to your emptiness and expectations. Very sad.
And at that point, it seemed like I had all her attention. I decided to use the opportunity to drive home my point about self-love...
"Self-love is about being brutally honest to oneself, accepting the good, bad and ugly about ourselves and making attempts to make daily improvements to those aspect that we see as undesirable and within our sphere of power to improve. Self-love entails knowing that in #theprocess of improving oneself, mistakes are bound to happen, things can go the other way unexpectedly and there's nothing you can do about it. Self-love involves laughing at yourself, doing things that you are passionate about, exploring life to its limits and being confident in the fact that regardless of outcome, you made the best decision that you could make at that moment, giving the conditions and information available to you.
Allowing ourselves to dream big, without contaminating these dreams with judgments, our perceived limitations, or a lack of sense of deserving. Knowing and having full understanding how we’re spending our emotional, mental, financial, and physical energy, and whether these activities bring back joy, connection, and creativity to our lives and the lives of those around us. When you love yourself, you won't label yourself with others’ opinions of you. But will have the courage to look inside to see if there might be some truth to those opinions and views. When you love yourself, you set boundaries that protect your relationships, with yourselves and others. There would be no need to seek permission or approval to be yourself, with the full knowledge that you, like everyone else, you deserve to take up space on this planet just as you are right now.
I'm not saying that buying and showering your loved one with gifts every Valentines is not good, I'm not saying that appreciating your partner once in a while is a bad thing or less important.. All these things are important but, if you don't love yourself, if you have no understanding or confidence in yourself. If you're not happy and secure with who you are, that undying love you profess and expect in return, the gifts that you claim is a token of love will be like dressing a pig to prevent it from staying away from dirt.
If you don't accept yourself, if you are not satisfied and know who you are, even Romeo, St. Valentine, Queen of the coast, the best man on earth(Aka Mr. Right) or Miss right and all the gifts in the world will only temporarily make your feel satisfied, until you return to your emptiness and void.
And like everything else, to love oneself begins with the acceptance that you need a change and different approach to see life. One that you are in full control and responsible for.
Now that I have explained myself, do you still think that I am heartless, cold and dead on the inside? She laughed and said to me "Thank you so much my friend."
Happy Valentine’s Day Lovers….and remember ROSES ARE RED. *my editor made me do this :( *
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