socio-political self-help and stuff
Growing up, no one talked much about love, so I figured a few things about it on my own. It seemed to me that everything concerning love involved someone of the opposite sex (the 80s, people). Every song on the radio (“Sho-wer me with your lo-ve”),1 the shows on television (uhh, Love Boat) and what I saw around me. The whole point of living meant finding someone to love. And being loved back. Which, according to most love songs, didn’t seem to work out too often. Divorce rates did peak in the decade that brought you shoulder pads and leg warmers. Err, the first time.
Fast forward some thirty years later, not much has changed, except maybe the Love Boat making its final run some time ago and we’re not so caught up in love being with someone of the opposite sex. Still, it’s like we’re all on a quest to find that one true love. And to hold on to it or its distant cousin. I can’t help but speculate here, but I think there are two reasons. The first is that many people just don’t know what love is. They may have picked up on the same cues I did from watching the crew of the Pacific Princess solve problems between couples in no less than one hour, every week. Or maybe they also stayed up late and caught the Skinemax version of love. Regardless of how or why, so many of us have no idea of what love is.
My second hypothesis is that too many of us just don’t realize the need to love ourselves. Which also goes back to the images that we were shown of love. I don’t remember ever hearing anything about the concept of self-love. Unless it included a warning about going blind. I first learned about self-love as a teenager and even then in an acronym of UGLY, meaning U Gotta Love Yourself. In other words, no one else will love you if you are ugly. I know!
So what do we do about first not knowing what it is and then, not feeling it for ourselves? Like everything else in our garden, we work and cultivate it until we have it. I do not consider myself an expert on pretty much anything. Including the topic at hand. I have, however, figured out a little on what it is, a lot on what it isn’t and am at a point where I am learning to love me more and more everyday. And no, I haven’t gone blind.
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Text copyright © 2012 Rachel M Walls
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1 Surface. “Shower Me With Your Love.” 2nd Wave. Columbia Records. 1988. CD.