It’s the age-old supposed cure-all for all of life’s woes (especially involving matters of the heart): “loving yourself first.” I don’t know how many times I’ve had to hear this, but I imagine the number is up there because what I do know is how many times I’ve thought to myself: what does that even mean. Because it used to sound to me like some weird form of narcissism or delusional way of not acknowledging anything wrong you’ve done. It used to sound like it meant you shouldn’t take responsibility for yourself, or something like that. But low and behold, I’ve come to the conclusion that it actually means loving yourself because you are a flawed person, and despite the fact that you are imperfect. And while I’m at it, here are some other things that I think loving yourself really means:
1) Having the courage to forgive yourself.
2) Understanding that not your weight, nor your hair color, nor your choice of clothing, nor the funny way your stomach rolls when you slouch down makes you any less attractive than anybody else.
3) That you have the choice to do what you love or to continue living a life being submissive to the expectations put on you.
4) That not everyone will love you, and that not everybody has to.
5) Understanding that you have to love yourself before you can love anybody else, or before anyone else can love you