Self-love is the key to finding true love. To truly love another, whether it be a friend, a partner or a family member, we need to first love ourselves.
Loving oneself isn’t about being arrogant, narcissistic, egocentric, selfish or vain, it is about genuinely caring for yourself and respecting your values and what you believe. It means having a deep understanding of yourself, warts and all, and accepting the good with the bad. It means having the ability to be honest about your strengths and your weaknesses, your positives and your negatives, and still loving yourself, even when you can be “less than perfect.” And maybe most importantly, self-love means that you are whole as an individual. You don’t need to look outside yourself to be complete. Instead, you are capable of finding happiness and feeling fulfilled on your own .
Why does this represent the key to finding love with others? Because if you can love and accept yourself for who you are, you can openly love and accept someone else. And, when you can find happiness within yourself, you won’t rely on others to make you happy, which can often create a co-dependent, or conditional form of love. Instead, your love for another will be free of expectations and will be more authentic.
To develop self-love, start by truly being honest with yourself about who you are. Spend time to get to know your needs, your passions, your interests and your values. Stay true to them and respect them. If you live with fears that drive your decisions, and possibly hinder your ability to experience a sense of freedom and joy, address them. Develop the confidence that will empower you to create the life you want, on your own terms.
Once we can look in the mirror and love ourselves for who we are, what we are, and for what we stand, we can then find true and unconditional love.