Only One You

It might sound selfish to say you are the most important person in your life, but think about it, without you, you have no existence. So, considering your life needs you to exist, that makes you at least something important if not the most important thing in it, right? During February, the word love seems to float around more because Valentine’s Day is upon us. Valentine’s is a sweet day for couples but famously disliked by those who find themselves single when it comes around. From those single folks came a cry for representation, and that was turned into visibility for self-love. Self-love is sometimes a phrase that evokes eye rolls and comes along with sympathetic pats when someone is having a hard time. Well, self-love shouldn’t be considered only during hard times and it shouldn’t be something taken so lightly as to earn an eye roll. Valentine’s day and the month of February don’t have to be geared towards couples; Instead, let’s turn it towards the concept of love itself.

There are many different types of love and some have tried to define them, Plato for example, we later built upon his definitions. From these types of love comes one called Philautia, a type of phila love (phila, which we will talk about in my next article). Philautia is self-love encapsulating self ”-esteem, -compassion, -regard, and -respect.” Though Philautia has positive and negative varieties this type of love focuses on “secure self-esteem” that doesn’t depend on external forces. Ideally, when you love yourself this way, you focus on seeking virtue and self-improvement. Unfortunately, there is a risk of narcissism and arrogance, but reaching those points means one has exited love and entered obsession which is a risk with any other type of love as well. If love slips into obsession, it’s no longer healthy. Therefore, hold tight to the ‘seeking virtues and improvement’ because although the specifics of these are different to different people, they’re the positive side of philautia.

Loving yourself is an important key to self-esteem and self-respect, and if you ever wish to love someone else properly, it’s important to first love yourself. This is because when you have these attributes, you can then extend them to the other person. Loving yourself is key to a happy and healthy mind which hopefully translates to a happy and healthy life. So, something we should do this Valentine’s Day is focus on self-love. Instead of moping for the loss or lack of a relationship, do a hobby you’re good at and marvel at your talents, do something therapeutic that heals your body and give yourself deserved appreciation for thriving daily. Find something that is centered in yourself and celebrate that if only to celebrate the fact you’ve only got one you and that uniqueness is worth admiring.