Love. The mere sound of the word evokes warmth. Spoken slowly, it endears itself to the speaker and to whom it is spoken. I honestly believe that Love can figuratively make the world go 'round. (For a few minutes anyway.) People do crazy and logical things for love. Technically, you can't live on it. At some point, you will get hungry or need new clothes, shoes, or sleep.
Love has levels. There's sweet love, pure love, friendly love, patient love... There's the more stressful love like unrequited love, lustful love, jealous/envious love. There's obligated love. It's the only emotion that has extremes. Yes, I know! We may 'believe' that love should ALWAYS be pure, but let's face it, that's not true. Passion is love at it's heights, yet it's still adoration of a sort. All love is adoration. If you lack the adoration (even warped, angry adoration) only then is it not love. If there is a want, a desperate need, even if it's a selfish, at the cost of all-those-who-breath kind of feeling, it's still Love. Hate, doesn't have this kind of maturity of form. Hate is all about, well, hate. Bliss, as pretty as that word sounds, doesn't cover the range that Love covers.
When we Love someone, something, we pour time into it; (and Love doing so) we give of ourselves in ways we'd never give, if we didn't Love the someone or something. We remember it always and disloyalty isn't an option. We sometimes run away from Love, because we think we're protecting ourselves, when the truth of the matter is that we often run, because we are frightened by the possibility of being consumed by Love, even a little tiny bit of Love.
And there in lies a gigantic problem. Running from love is something we may do with anyone or anything. We run from love with a partner and sometimes we run from love of ourselves. Sometimes, we get so angry that other people love other things or people, that we become bitter because we don't love something that much, however, the thoughts of loving something that much is too traumatizing to imagine for ourselves! This is why it's always, always bothered me when I hear people say something like, "To find the right people (wife, husband, friends, job, boyfriend, girlfriend, house, dog) you HAVE TO LOVE YOURSELF!"
I find this nonsensical because we never tell people how to do this! We insist on it, but we act like this feat is simple, in a world where people run or race for Love that may or way not be.
Love, at all it's levels, isn't simple to endure when it comes to other people. Sometimes people 'test' our Love for them, by doing things (intentionally or not) that will cause us to rethink our connection with such a person. There are plenty of people who separate or divorce people they still love madly, because of an indiscretion. They may separate out of practicality, over a promise of broken vows. But, once the separation happens, Love does NOT go away. It lingers.
Sometimes people Love us, who we don't Love back. We think to ourselves, "Why do they want me? I don't want them..." We can't make ourselves Love someone at random, even if they are the nicest, kindest, most worthy being imaginable. If loving anyone were that simple, everyone would be a couple, end of story.
If it's sometimes difficult to Love others that we have made a vow to love, and difficult to Love someone who we haven't made a vow to, then how in the world can we Love ourselves to the fullest degree? How can we endure someone who loves themselves if we can't deal with the examples of Love in our lives?
Now, I KNOW there are people who love themselves fully. They lead happy productive lives, surrounded by other people who love them, and love themselves as well. But, there is the crooks. You have to be surrounded by people who are CAPABLE of Loving themselves. You have to be in an environment that allows you to be perfectly fine with the way Love feels. If you find yourself feeling sad or not special before your friends eyes, if you feel less of person around your friends, if you find yourself walking way form them feeling like who you are isn't good enough, then you aren't going to be able to love yourself. DON'T ignore those feelings! What those feelings are telling you is that you are currently immersing yourself in an environment that won't be conducive to loving yourself.
The way to LOVE yourself is to FIND PEOPLE WHO ALSO LOVE THEMSELVES! You'll know who these people are, because they will find nothing but love in you! They will give you their time; they will find ways to encourage you toward positive goals even without your mentioning them; they will listen to what you have to say; they will give you critical feedback that doesn't hurt, but is honest; you won't need to constantly prove yourself to people who already love themselves, because they would have already seen the little sparks in you that prove to them that you are worthy of love; and they will find ways to make you feel special every time you're with them... When you leave their presence, the only sadness you'll feel is that your time with them has ended. People who love themselves, will shower you with Love, because the love they feel for themselves will be in such abundance that they want to give it away and never fear running out of it!