In Platoâ€™s Symposium, Plato delved into the Greek mythology that in the beginning humans were born whole, with four arms, four legs, and two faces. In other words, humans were born with their other half, soulmate, partner, in one body. According to the Greek myth humans lived in bliss and were not honoring the Gods. Out of fear and to punish for their insolence Zeus separated humans in our current form, two arms, two legs, one face and condemned humans to search for their other half to find love and be whole again.
This story reminds us that it is natural to want to be in love and live in bliss, or â€œfeel wholeâ€. However, in this search for love too often we forget to love the most important person of all, yourself. Self-love is an amazing gift that we could give to ourselves every day, it can bring happiness and a sense of fulfillment.
What is self-love? Self-love is so many things and it depends on your definition of love. Love is essentially a feeling, but it is also demonstrated in action. It is through these actions that we gain a sense of being loved, cared for, and in romantic situations desired. When you practice self-love it adds to feelings of self-worth, gratitude and emotional, physical and sexual well-being. It is very important to show yourself love in all of these areas.
In my opinion, the key ingredient to self-love is mindfulness, that is being present in the moment, not focusing on the past or the future. Many of us have been guilty of missing experiences because we are too focused on wanting to share the experience with a soulmate, instead of enjoying the moment. Enjoying experiences, friendships, nature, solitude, massages, masturbation, hot baths, laughter, delicious cuisine, and wines are all ways to indulge in self-love while being mindful.
As Plato posed in the Greek myth, which has been dubbed the Origin of Love, finding love is not easy… at least it feels that way when you are looking for it. This journey to find love can be hurtful, disappointing, make you cry, question your own sanity and test your feelings of self-worth, yet we continue on.
As with any journey, you have to prepare and pack accordingly, that is self-love tools to counter negative feelings and thoughts. Be mindful as to what works best for you and use these tools regularly. When you have a sense of wholeness it allows you to seek your other half without feeling the need to fill a void.
â€œIf you want to be loved, then you must first love yourselfâ€.
Renee Taylor, LCSW
Founder of Wine, Women and Wisdom, LLC