Coveted by us all, and notoriously difficult to acquire, unconditional love is a sensation many of us chase. While some of us have the benefit of experiencing it from family, not everyone has this luxury. In any case, isn’t it something we would all love to receive from our partners?
For those of us who haven’t felt this emotional safety net, the quest for unconditional love can be all-consuming. It provides us with validation, that we are enough just as we are, and perfectly loveable this way. No matter how many mistakes we make, or how big, we are still the subject of someone else’s affections.
In our society, which spins marriage as the ultimate goal (bonus points if you’re straight), and the constant need to physically improves ourselves (can I get a round of applause for the cosmetics industry, ladies and gentlemen?), the only chance we are supposed to have of experiencing unconditional love is at the hands of someone else.
*insert whimsical British expletive here*
The era of self-love is just beginning. Twenty years ago, the idea of caring for ourselves, whether with massages, retail therapy or avocado toast, was considered more along the lines of selfish. (I kid, there was no such thing as avocado toast in the 90s.) While self-love is still finding its feet, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the best, and most reliable source of unconditional love is from ourselves.
We experience ourselves day in and day out. Every errant thought, every dream, every disappointment is ours to laugh, cry or cringe at. Sometimes we even hate some of the things we do, and we either ignore them or resolve to change them (while perpetually tormenting ourselves with our mistake – amirite anxiety folks?)
We are in the best position to grant ourselves unconditional love. We know ourselves better than anyone, even if we’re still questioning who we are. Must we have figured ourselves out before we can love ourselves? Hell no, our journeys to discovering ourselves will be infinitely easier and joyful if we do love ourselves along the way. We must give ourselves the support we also want from others regardless of how much of our enigma we have unravelled. We’re in this for life, whether we like it or not, and life is a long time to hate ourselves, or even just to feel indifferent.
Gone are the days when we needed to rely on others to love us unconditionally. We are not only capable, but we are fully qualified to love ourselves without judgement. The day we learn to love ourselves this way is the day we will know ultimate security. With love like that, what can’t we do?