So what does it mean to truly love yourself?
It means to respect your own personal autonomy.
Being autonomous just means being a “self.”
Loving your “self” means honoring and respecting your personhood.
Personal autonomy is what makes you a unique, self-determining individual. A person of worth with the right to determine your own life, as opposed to being just another member of “the collective.”
Respecting your personal autonomy?
It involves everything that honors you.
Meeting every need you have.
Nurturing and caring for yourself, as an independent person.
Self love consists of respecting your self – the autonomous individual you are. Anytime you dishonor or disvalue yourself, you are disrespecting your own personal autonomy by doing so.
When you do that?
It’s like doing yourself an “injustice.”
Doing something that violates your worth?
It discredits your being.
Boundaries are expressions of respect for your personal autonomy as well, though this time in reference to other persons. They ensure people respect your right to be the unique autonomous individual you are, instead of allowing them to trample all over you.
Everything you can think of?
Every aspect of self-love?
It all comes down to one thing.
Respecting your personal autonomy.
Respecting who you ARE.
It is this self-respect your parents were supposed to bring you up to have when you were a child, and it was their job to nurture you. Instead of teaching you to be dependent on anyone, they should have helped you develop into a full, self-reliant individual.
This isn’t about self-centredness at all.
Self-centered people don’t care about others.
As an autonomous individual you love everyone.
You respect EVERYONE’S personal autonomy.
Only with your personal autonomy intact, can you securely love your partner. Only when you and your partner respect each other’s personal autonomy, can you truly share yourselves.
Love is not about “getting your needs met.”
It’s about valuing your partner.
Valuing their personal autonomy.
Loving them just like you love yourself!
What do you think? Is respect for personal autonomy just an incidental idea and only one value among others, or is respecting it as I’ve described here central to what it actually means to love everyone?
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