*This is the first in a series I’m working on doing about Self Love in honor of Valentines Day*
If you’ve heard me mention church before, you may have been curious about what religion I belong to. Or not. But either way, stick with me for a bit.
I’m a Unitarian Universalist, part of the .3% of people in the US that are. We have a reputation for being overly liberal, for picking and choosing what parts of religion we like, and for being all around stinking hippies.
We’re also known for running late. For everything.
We’re able to be such an open community because unlike many other religions, we have no dogma or creed, and we don’t require anyone to believe anything. What we do have, however, are 7 Principles that describe what we believe Unitarian Universalism is all about.
So why am I talking so much about church?
It’s because of the first of our 7 Principles. The number one thing that UUs think is important is ‘The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person.’
Every time I say this, I get warm fuzzies, because this is something that I feel strongly about. I believe in respecting everyone, and knowing that no matter who I’m talking to, that they’re important.
But what does this have to do with Self Love?
I’ve realized over the last year that I’ve been letting my favorite Principle down. In all my intellectual respecting of people, I forgot one thing: Me.
I am a person, and I have inherent worth and dignity. How could I miss this? I’ve been pretty awful to myself for a long time now, and I definitely haven’t treated myself as though I had worth or dignity.
So what does it mean to treat myself as though I have worth? I need to stop telling myself that I’m worthless, for sure. Because I do have worth- inherent worth even, just by existing. And I think I need to be more gentle with myself- I’m doing the best that I can right now, and even if I’m not able to do everything, I’m still worthy of having a good life.
And for dignity? I need to start respecting myself. Looking deep inside and finding pride in who I am. I think that treating yourself with dignity is a great foundation for self-love because all it asks is that you give yourself the care and respect that you’d give another person.
Even after researching and intellectualizing and writing this, I still find it hard to hold in my head, but I think it will come with practice. I think for many of us, self-love is a challenge because we, as humans, tend to compare ourselves to others, and I know for me, when I’m surrounded by people my age who are successful functioning adults, I tend to get down on myself. I forget that while doing everything that my peers can do would be nice, I’m not them. But no matter what I can or can’t do, I inherently have two things.
Worth and Dignity.