Yeah, that’s what they say. “You have to love yourself before you can love another.”
Yes, self-love is important.
And yet, we learn that originally from others. We learn how to love ourselves from the mirroring that we get from loving parents.
We see ourselves reflected in their eyes. Ideally, this is an unconditional love, so that we can be on our own side, no matter how we produce, what honors we achieve, what goals we reach.
But frequently, our parents don’t know how to do this themselves.
They criticize us because they love us, they want us to be safe.
Or they criticize us because we threaten them in some way – seeing us go after our own dreams makes them jealous, and sad.
Sometimes, we need to seek out others,
to show us how to love ourselves.
Sometimes, that is a friend, or a therapist,
or a teacher or a mentor.
What doesn’t help is when we beat ourselves
up, because we haven’t mastered this yet.
Yay, us, for recognizing that
there is work to be done!
Yay, us! Let’s go get some
assistance, and stop thinking
we have to do it all on our own!