What does self-love mean to you? What makes you feel alive? Feel complete? Do you resonate with the hundreds of articles written all over the internet who tell you that to love yourself, you need to be hydrated, have that perfect skin care routine, workout every single day, revise your chapters, listen to soothing music, practice yoga, meditation and mindfulness tips, plant some flowers and watch them grow as you water them every day, from digging and laying the soil and the seeds where the sunrays hit the perfect amount, not too warm and not too cold, make lunches and dinners using the fresh produce from your garden, open those big windows and let your home breathe, spoil yourself with exactly one glass of your favorite wine every single evening while listening to old melodies on your radio and yet, feel numb and not ever able to close that relentlessly growing void inside of your heart where you feel that you are sinking into that spiral that squeezes your womb as it takes you within? What is self-love? Is it same as self-care? Is that what keeps you sane?
Everyone has their own love language and how you chose to love yourself and communicate with your needs tends to set the tone for how other people will treat you. You hear and read this every single day on the internet, written by people whose story does not reflect yours, who handle their sorrows and grief in a completely different way and write an idealized flowery version of it on the internet because nobody wants to look at the uglier parts of living. We look at an ideal version of a world where everyone wants to be their own person, act like they do not have to depend upon another human to keep their shit together, How do they make it? The answer is, they don’t.
Ask yourself, if it weren’t for the people around you who constantly love you, support you and remind you of how amazing you are, who would you be? In the “modern world” where rolling your eyes while saying phrases like “ Uggh, I hate people!” and “ I’d rather have no-strings attached relationships, communicating with someone regularly and looking out for them is so damn tiring” are in trend, it is ironic that we are always seeking for that very intimate human connection more than ever. Otherwise, why are we, humans all over the world at this time of global pandemic, when living inside the comfort of our own homes because we have the privilege of that comfort zone and space, still feeling like we are some butterfly whose wings are trapped inside the same cocoon they grew out of? We have everything we need don’t we? Our loved ones are safe, we video call them once in a while, it’s amazing we do not have to see “people”, go out and we can Netflix and chill for hours, days and months straight.
This odd state of normalcy and abnormality at the same time is defying our beliefs that we do not need anyone to be happy. Why, in these desperate times when I see people coming out of their balconies and playing music to cheer each other up brings a rush of calm to my nerves, even when I am not a part of it and am just looking at it on my phone? The answer is, because we live for one another, the biggest power that humankind has is the emotion of empathy, we can never deny that we crave for a collective human energy around us, supporting us and making us feel loved and seen, we ache for that human touch, which makes us feel valid and alive; be it in a handshake or in a hug. We miss the feeling of being together in this planet that is floating in the middle of nowhere. We miss “people”. And maybe, self-love is defined for something much more than just you and has to do with how you look at your place in this world, where we all exist. Together.