"Love" is such an impactfull word, filled with great emotion, and filled with nothing.
So can I, should I "love" myself, when it can mean so many different things to different people? In many cases, far more negative than positive.
I prefer the term, "getting to know myself. My "self". That individual deep inside of me. The one with all the unique thoughts, ideas and interpretations. The one whose voice you'll rarely hear. The one whose still making her way fully to the surface.
Can I "love" that "self"?
After more than 20 years, I can say that I like her. The "her" that is me. I admire, respect and cherish me. And that is definitely good enough. But do I love my "self". Do I have to love my "self"?
I believe I do. Because by truly loving my "self", I encompass all of the things I appreciate about me. I am still getting to know that part of me and I don't like everything about me, but I do love me, which has made such a huge difference in my life.
With my "self" love, I have discovered respect, admiration, growth, acceptance, responsibility, appreciation, fun, trust, freedom and so much more and I cannot wait to see what more there is to discover.
But it takes time. And if knowing yourself is all you feel you are capable of doing, then go for it! It's not what we call it that is important, it's what we learn from ourselves and how we use our new abilities that truly matter.