If we’re all pre-programmed to love—then, in theory, there should be plenty of love to go around.
There should be enough to fill us all.
So why is it deemed unhealthy to survive solely on the love we receive from other beings?
Why has the concept of self-love become so important, and supposedly crucial, to living a happy, healthy life?
How did we get so wrapped up in the idea of loving ourselves, instead of just directing our love towards others as we’re naturally inclined to do?
Who decided that you can’t truly love anybody, if you don’t love yourself?
I’m not convinced that I’ve ever truly loved myself, but I can guarantee that I’ve never had a problem loving others, and in turn—I’ve been adequately loved by broken people.
In fact, I thrive when I’m sharing my love deeply and generously with those around me, and I believe that applies to most.
So it stands to reason that while hating ourselves would certainly be destructive, maybe we don’t actually need to love ourselves to live love-filled lives.
If we surround ourselves with those who love us unconditionally—and rid our lives of those who don’t—would that be enough? Should that be enough?
No matter how much self-love we acquire, we certainly all have enough self-awareness to dig deep and find the things within us that we dislike. That list will grow and shrink and change throughout the course of our lives, regardless of whether or not we learn to love ourselves, and as a general rule, we accept that notion as a part of our human experience.
So maybe self-love shouldn’t be the goal.
Maybe instead of constantly trying to change ourselves into someone we can love—we should focus instead on accepting ourselves as we are,and spend our love wholly and wisely on those around us.
Shouldn’t that be enough?
Maybe it is.
Perhaps that void inside of us all—that we’ve been trying to fill with self-love—has been so incredibly unfillable, due to the fact that we should have been filling it with self-acceptance all along.
Maybe the pursuit of self-love is so difficult, because it’s been an empty pursuit all this time.
Maybe self-acceptance and love for, and from, others is all we need.
I could be wrong, but I think it’s certainly a notion worth pondering.
Author: Bekka Creasey
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Author’s own.