• Ana Del Castillo

Self-Love Is Not the Answer


I don’t believe self-love is the answer. Not because I don’t believe in love, but because for some of us, we never experienced what it was like to be loved for who we are.

So, someone telling a person to just ‘love themselves’ when they don’t know what that feels like can be crazy-making. It can exacerbate self-loathing.

The only way I have ever made any lasting, long-term difference in how I treat myself (and by extension, how my life and people treat me) is when I meet and accept myself exactly as I am, with no quiet, furious, or desperate hope that it’ll fix what’s ‘wrong with me.’

By figuring out how to give up the illusion of what I am convinced is wrong with me and instead wrestle with the grace of accepting myself exactly as I am.

By flushing myself with ‘rightness.’

The irony is self-acceptance looks and feels a lot like self-love and self-respect. It feels like being home in one’s skin.

But this is a much more emotionally and psychologically doable game for me to play than the trying-to-fix-what’s-wrong-with-me-over-and-over-so-I-can-feel-worthy-of-love, game.

Because the truth is, I can’t TRY to love myself. When I try, I end up exacerbating the inner noise that tells me I am not worthy of love.

I can only learn how to BE loving with myself. As Esther Perel says, love is a verb. So learning the actions of what love feels like to me, in resonance with my system, IS self-love. It’s self-care.

It’s literally what it means to re-parent myself.

So no, I don’t focus on loving myself. I am one of those people that, growing up, never got to know what love looked like or felt like.

But I do now.

I focus on self-acceptance. I focus on listening to myself - really listening to myself. I focus on respecting myself. And I learn ongoing on a body level how to accept myself exactly as I am and exactly as I’m not. That ends up being self-love.

But I’ve never been able to get to that from the front door. I’ve only ever been able to get to it from the bottom up.


25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All