Can I ask you a question? What does self love mean to you?
I used to think self love was vain and unattainable. Happiness was awarded by measure of how well you match the mental image of who you want to be. With all the ways I didn’t measure up to mine, it was a wonder to me how anyone could achieve that vanity, and if I ever would be happy with me.
On the good days, I’d couldn’t join the self love club because I couldn’t win the argument of measuring up to my imaginary mental match. On the weird days, I sailed on Theseus’s ship, around and around and around, wondering what self was at all. On the bad days, I felt filled with emotion, overwhelming emotion, but emptied of self, personality, colour. Undeserving of love.
Lately I find it helpful to think about it like this. Imagine if you love a particular friend very very much. And, forget the reason, but it’s now your job to take care of this friend, mentally, physically, emotionally. How would you treat, advise, care for, and show love to this friend? Would you be kind and understanding? Would you accept them, flaws and all, because no one is perfect? Would you feed them well and help them get good rest? Would you be aware of your friend’s limits and try not push too far past?
I think you’ve already well arrived at the destination, but you are the best friend you’ll ever have. You met the moment you were born and you will be together until the final neuron in your brain ceases fire. You’re the only one that can ensure the time between those two events is as long, healthy, and happy as possible.
Self love isn’t something you struggle to achieve. It’s doing the things you would normally do for someone you really love, just that person is you.
Who is the Shell Artist? Part 6