By Rositsa Dorovska
“Don‘t forget to fall in love with yourself first.” Growing up, I‘ve realized, that this is my favourite quotation from Carrie Bradshаw. The heroine’s main goal was the existential search for love, totally opposite to the contemporary movements, centred around feminism and women‘s self-sufficiency, and perhaps too confusing for the youth to decide where they belong.
To love themselves, I think, is the basic skill one ( but especially a woman ) has to acquire. That love has not to be mistaken with selfishness and egoism, so common amongst the milennials nowadays.. That love is a behavioral tool, any parent has to start the relaitonship with their children with. Self love means confidence within inside, it‘s the foundation of love in general. If one lacks lessons on self love and self respect since childhood, that can easily lead to problematic relations with the others at the future – toxic friendships, family issues etc. Good news – it is never too late to start loving yourself.
It‘s not about the unrealistic high self esteem, some parents are keen to nurture their kids with..It‘s about teaching one to observe their own values, strengths, flaws. To know yourself, to be able to practice self-criticism, are signs of maturity. Maturity is what a person needs to posses, so they can enjoy fruitful relationships and partnerships. Maturity is essential against the diseases, caused by our digital era, like the bad habit to compare our daily lives with influential social media profiles or celebrities, for example..
Instead of thinking how to impress the others, the mature person usually is accepting herself with all positives and negatives. If that is not real lоve, what is it?
Self loving people are less likely to be manipulated, they have their own lifestyle and are more conscious. They are not copying the majority, often they are creators, critical thinkers with independent opinion.
Knowing and loving yourself is always a process and needs a kind of literacy. For many girls or women, self-love simply means practising girly things, like shopping, spending time at beauty salons, etc. While these are really nice ways of spending some good #metime, they are far from the self-love I‘m talking about. One which is focused on our inner beauty and power. You can care for that inner beauty, while practising, not exactly shopping, but while you‘re observing yourself, instead. By treating yourself the way you want the others to treat you. It is sort of a spiritual experience when you are witnessing your own reactions from a certain distance. That can help you to improve them a lot and to become confident, to avoid constantly seeking others approval and attention. There are many options for you to develop that personal growth – through art, social inclusion via volunteering, some sports activities. Reading can be very helpful as well, but I wouldn‘t pick the trending self-help books. My current personal choice and recommendation is a classic one – “Man‘s search for meaning“ from the Austriann neurologist and psychiatrist, founder of logotherapy and a Holocaust surviver – Victor Frankl. A simplified scientific explanation, based on an autobiography and inspired by Nietzsche, on the meaning of life – having a goal and love, of course. And what love is greater than the love for yourself, the love for life… You have to start from that love, so you can set your goals for the future and can feel valuable and spread
At the end of the day , the longest relationship you will ever have is with yourself, as per another valid cliche.