“As I began to love myself, I freed myself of anything that is no
good for my health –food, people, things, situations, and
everything that drew me down and away from myself.
At first, I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is 'LOVE OF ONESELF'.”
According to the 'Triangular Theory of Love," there are many types of love: romantic love (a combination of intimacy and passion), companionate love (intimacy and commitment), and fatuous love (commitment and passion). However, in this pursuit we tend to forget the most important thing: self-love. If we want to bond with others, we have to know and accept ourselves first. Otherwise, most of our relationships are doomed to fail.
This quality, essential for our well-being, requires time and work to evolve into self-understanding, patience, and self-esteem. It's common to associate it with egoism, pride, and vanity. However, self-love has to do with knowing yourself and what you want, and so act according to it.
Most of the time, society and media push us to judge ourselves for who we are, fix our "imperfections," and follow other self-deprecatory patterns we learn even since early childhood. The idea of love gets mixed up with approval, so we end up allowing others to diminish, hurt, or undervalue us to be accepted. "We accept the love we think we deserve," even if it harms us.
Thus, to ease the emotional exhaustion we hide ourselves behind masks and silence our inner voice. Many years may pass before we realize this and start changing our behavior. This can be a painful process, for we have to accept we've been hurting ourselves with the way we love. But it's necessary so we end up freeing ourselves from insecurity and living as our authentic selves.
A path to achieve self-love can be Yoga and meditation, which are activities that involve both introjection and physical health. Also we can change toxic patterns and attitudes, heal our relationship with others, strengthen friendships, and empathize with people around us.
Self-love is simply knowing that you deserve the best, that you're worthy of loving and being loved. To feel and listen to your heart must be your motto. Treasure your self-love and protect it.
Having a mantra can also help you focus and reinforce this emotion. Take a look at these self-love tips based on Osho's sayings:
1. Be here and now, because love is only possible "here and now."
4. Embody nothingness. Once you start believing you're someone, you can get stuck, then love can't flow.
When you realize you're not an absolute being, you can finally spread love. When you empty yourself, you leave space for love. There's no place for the heart when the Ego takes over. Before you love someone, you have to love and know yourself. So, the relationship you'll begin will be a fulfilling experience.
Maybe you're one of those who has once wondered: Is Being Single A Disability? If you've googled it at least once, you must know that this need to find a partner is a shelter to loneliness that can become an obsession.
The photographs used in this text belong to Sara Lorusso.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards