Self-love

Self-love is a double-edged sword. On one end, there is the narcissistic love of one’s self. On the other, there is a lack and need to love one’s self. It requires balance to stay in the middle. I went from one extreme to the other. It took me a long time to find the middle.

I found this bottle cap stuck to the ground between some pavers and immediately thought of the word self-love. I believe there are different levels we usually go back and forth from before we finally find the happy medium.

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The first level is Excessive self-love, “It’s all about me.” It is a lack of regard for others’ feelings and lack of kindness or compassion. I have been guilty of this in my younger years. I disregarded how people felt or how they were affected by my actions. Who cares as long as I get mine, right? With this type of thinking, I usually got in the way of my own happiness.

The second level is Inadequate self-love. “It’s all about them.” Taking the term “Putting others before oneself” to extreme. It’s good to be a giver but not to the point where there is no happiness felt in the act of giving. There is a point where we don’t have time to give love to ourselves because we’re too busy giving it to others. In some instances, we get taken advantage of, and that is neither good for our health nor our soul. Again, I’m guilty of having been at this level. At different points in my life, I lost my sense of self, my character, and personality. I wanted to be the best wife, best mom, best friend, best everything to everyone. I wanted what they wanted. In the end, I didn’t recognize who I was anymore. I gave so much that I didn’t have enough for myself.

The third level is Balanced self-love. The happy medium we all would like to reach. To be able to give and receive love freely and happily without compromise. I know some people who have this and are good at this. I have to keep myself in check to remain in the middle.

This picture reminded me to keep working on balancing my life and my level of self-love. There has to be love for oneself before love can be shared with others. We can’t give what we don’t have.