What is Self-Love?
(the carpenter’s level illustration)
The concept of self-love and honor is woefully undertaught, even being misunderstood as egomania. To love, care for, appropriately protect, and maintain yourself is absolutely necessary for a healthy life, healthy life choices, and healthy relationships.
Self-love reflects upon how you nourish yourself, how are you keep healthy practices such as self-care, nourishment, and exercise, and even reflects upon such things as the job you choose and how you choose to maintain your home environment and its protective, nurturing qualities.
What happens when we do not love ourselves? Often, we do not think we deserve good structures in life such as a safe home environment, or decent, honest, appropriate people in our lives to honor us and treat us well. We often think to ourselves, “Oh well, I should just go ahead and date this person because I can’t get anybody any better anyway”, or “It’s okay that he/she treats me miserably, lies, etc. … he/she pays that bill or did that nice thing that one time, etc.”.
A tidal wave of horrendous treatment is not wiped away by some small measure of what looks like good. That’s a little like someone shooting you, but handing you a Band-Aid.
So what does self-love look/feel like? Imagine a carpenter’s level with the fluid-filled cylinder holding a single bubble.
Your sense of self and self-honor are represented by that bubble. Self-love keeps your bubble between the centering lines. If someone mistreats you, you are tuned in to the fact that your bubble is being pulled out of center. You are not being appropriately honored as a human being with value and merit. This is your moment to stand up and clarify your right to be treated well. If that person mistreating you will not correct their behavior, gaslights you, projects upon you, etc., then that is an individual who does not deserve to be in proximity to you.
It’s very important also to understand that self-love exists appropriately when you love yourself as well as loving and honoring the good people around you. Only can self-love be construed as narcissism/sociopathy when it exists in a detrimental state, cutting out honoring any/every person around.