Last Thursday morning, Dutch band Rondé was promoting their new single: I’m ready to love myself (see song below). The band’s singer was talking about her transformation to self-love (in Greek: philautia). Before, she did not believe in the healing nature of loving yourself. How do you get there?
It’s important to realise that both love and self-love are output and not input. Hence, you cannot buy love (eg, 1964 Beatles song, 1987 film). This blog is about the road to self-love or its Greek equivalent philautia.
In my view, a lack of self-love is caused by nurture (eg, upbringing) and is not caused by nature (eg, genetics). In other words, a lack of self-love translates in our behaviour rather than in our personality or attitude (my blogs on personality, attitude & behaviour). Hence, we can change it – if we want to.
In my view, any Change requires several steps:
- Recognition: “Houston, we may have a problem“;
- Acknowledgement: yes, there is indeed a problem;
- Acceptance: the problem is mine; not others;
- Belief: I need and want to fix my problem;
- Willpower: finding the energy to fix it;
- Faith: I’m convinced that change is required and I’m determined to fix my problem.
The power of rejection lies in its repeating nature, and is (somewhat) similar to (political) advertising.
If your husband or wife tells you daily that you’re not good enough for him/her then you will ultimately start to believe that devastating message. I know. If your parents never express their love (eg, in deeds or in words) then you will eventually question their intentions.
Once you believe that you are not worthy of love then your self-love will have become minimal. Changing your belief systems is very, very hard. In my case, it took a burn-out and subsequent depression (2013-2014) to change my belief systems. I was lucky. With hindsight, my burnout was a blessing; not a curse.
Ever since, I’m ready to love myself.
I couldn’t keep it together
Didn’t know what I could be
Never thought that life could get much better
Thought I’d be here forever
Everything was breaking me
My life turned into therapy
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.