Love Yourself

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I saw a piece of graffiti the other day that really annoyed me.

It doesn’t happen often but this one had a judgmental tone I didn’t care for. I wish I’d taken a snap now but it fucked me off so much I stomped away before doing so, then thought about writing this post afterwards. D’oh!

The piece was small, amateurish and said something along the lines of: “Love and respect yourself before someone else can love and respect you.”

Um. Okay.

Look, I get the sentiment of it. I’m all for the self-love rhetoric and believe wholeheartedly in the art of being kind to yourself, loving your own body, mind and soul. I’ve more than once posted inspirational memes to this effect.

However, I’m starting to realise how problematic this way of thinking is. I mean, was I the perfect specimen when I met my husband? You’ve got to be shitting me. I was coming out of a very dark, destructive relationship in which I considered suicide and very much did not love myself.

Loving who I am has come ever since that relationship and is an ongoing project. It will never be finished and so what? I’m more than happy to dedicate the rest of my life to loving myself as much as I can and maintaining that.

To suggest that someone is not deserving of love until they’re at peace with themselves is pretty shitty when you think about it. Love and acceptance can go hand in hand and I’m not saying you have to be validated by another human to be happy in yourself, nor do you have to be with anybody at all. You don’t have to be fixed or happy all the time, loving yourself is a great idea and I support it but it’s not for everybody all the time. Think about it, is it not just another impossible ideal we’re being pushed toward?

You have to love yourself! You have to respect yourself! You have to be confident! You have to be sassy!

What if I’m two of those things today, none of them tomorrow and all of them but the last one on Sunday? If I don’t hit my self-love quota will my love license be revoked? Will I go straight to the bottom of the pile in terms of love and respect from others?

What is self-respect anyway? One woman’s sleazy is another woman’s empowerment so fuck off, alright?

Love yourself by all means but don’t beat yourself up when you don’t. Be as kind to yourself as you can but don’t feel you can’t have down days, can’t just be. You are worthy of love all the time and not just magically when you’ve passed the self-love bar and received your self-respect certificate in the post.

Always.

I can safely say that this piece of graffiti was not supposed to evoke such a reaction in me but it has. Call me sensitive if you like but my very badly constructed argument still stands.

8 thoughts on “Love Yourself

  1. I’ve seen another one you’d enjoy “A confident girl doesn’t show her naked body she shows her naked face”. I am so tempted to grab a permanent marker and write “F**K OFF” in 6 foot high letters above it. But I’m in a youth centre so that wouldn’t be appropriate (I’m told). It’s not related to the course I’m on but it’s right in my eye line and filling me with rage.
    😄

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s awful! Oh boy that is a bad one. Who writes this shit? That ones sounds very much like a man’s opinion. “Men don’t like make-up…” “Don’t fucking wear it then!!”. I despair I really do, this whole topic is currently making my blood boil. Thanks for sharing that one, maybe we should start a collection! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s nothing worse than graffiti that tells you what to do! Go and love yourself, graffiti.
    I do like the self-acceptance message that’s being spread around these days, but it does get a bit tiresome at times. Bitch, I do what I want. Give yourself a break is probably a more useful message. It’s hard to be positive and inspired 24/7.
    Fuck, it’s frequently a struggle to be positive AT ALL.
    It’s also kind of troubling that loving yourself isn’t really the endgame in that graffiti message–it’s really about getting someone else’s love at the end and having a seemingly fairy tale ending. If you’re going to love yourself, it’s probably not a great idea to do so because you want other people to love you. But I’m not going to pretend I have my shit so together that I should be handing out life advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YES GURL! You’ve put that much better that I could as I sort of skipped over that point. I hate being told what to do and I hate all this #goals shit, a relationship should not be the only goal or the end goal in loving yourself. The relationship we have with ourselves is the most significant and long term after all, partners are all well and good but they’re an aside! Great comment, as per. I love you! xoox

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so often read similar quotes and have never thought about them in this way at all, just thought of them as nice sentiment but as you say, they’re not nice. You’re always opening my mind up to new ways of thinking, I love that. Thank you xxx

    Like

  5. One of the best purges / explanations I’ve ever come across in terms of self love / respect. My girlfriends come up to me all the time and recommend that same recipe to have all my ducklings in a row before thinking of coming across someone and it’s always irked me in a way I couldn’t defend.

    Liked by 1 person

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