Does Self-Love Mean I’m All About Me?


By: Walter Cabal  |

It would be missing something to assume that we all have the exact same ideas, and ways of using the phrase “self-love” without first asking, What does it mean to “Love ourselves?” So, in the spirit of curiosity, I wanted to spend this week cleaning up the bad reputation of self-love by separating it from the other thing that it tends to be confused for: self-orbiting.

When we look closely at the things we tend to associate with love – I think it’s safe to say, that the best versions of love are tied with things like valuing people, respect, care and other characteristics that suggest (at least at some level) that we assume that love is good; That love is good for us and that if love were to ever act – it would most likely be good toward us. 

In trying to understand self-love, I think this distinction between self-love and self-orbiting is important. I don’t intend to suggest to our readers that self-orbiting or focusing only on ourselves and no one else is necessarily the best way to move toward living healthy. Ha! In fact, focusing only on the self has a bad reputation because it’s a characteristic of that one relative who only listens to your story because it reminds them of… them. It has a bad reputation because self-orbiting is the main characteristic of Scrooge and the Grinch. It has a bad reputation because self-orbiting only cares about the self and no one else. It makes Macbeth turn the other way while his own friend is killed. Self-orbiting is the picture of a lonely planet that circles by habit around - nothing. It seems that self-orbiting has a bad reputation for a reason: it isn’t good in the same way that we tend to think that love is good. In fact, there isn’t even any room for love in self-orbiting because that self-important planet has taken up all the space in it’s little universe.

On the other hand, self-love has a bad reputation many times because it’s got the word “self” in there. If we include ourselves in the category of people who deserve love, we might be able to remember that other people deserve it also. In other words it seems like valuing, caring, respecting, has room others and for ourselves at the same time.

Trying to untangle self-love seems like a good transition from an entire month of being immersed in the blues. Sometimes living just gets you down on yourself doesn’t it? So what does it mean to give ourselves love? Well, I’m working on that myself. We’ll be asking other makers and artisans if they have any insight into this crazy little thing called love – and what it looks like to give it to ourselves.