Let's Take Ourselves Where Self-Love Begins - by Aatqa Ali

Sometimes I wonder how people define the true meaning of love. The surety with which people can say what they are feeling is love has always left me befuddled.

If I were to answer what love to me is I would only be able to offer a strange sensation in my chest that I cannot fully explain. Despite that our entire journey of life begins with being cradled in our mother's lap to our eventual departure leaving behind only memories of loving and being loved, every phase of this journey revolves around love, yet we somehow fail to articulate the feeling and the concept of love.

You may have come across poetic versions of obsessive love, the romantic kind from movies or philosophical definitions of love, but I believe love is something unique to everyone. A lesson we all get to learn since our childhood is to have feelings of love and affection only for others. This is something we often interpret as our expression of love for others. We are accustomed to showing empathy, love, and affection towards our family, our friends and even celebrities that we do not personally know.

When we fall in love with someone, it makes us vulnerable to do whatever it takes to get them to reciprocate, acknowledge and celebrate.

The virtue of being appreciated or acknowledged for our feelings serves as validation and feels like success. It makes us feel worthy of affection, that we matter or have some reason of being.

The point is whether that love is enough for self-growth? What if people don't reciprocate the same amount of love as we have for them? What if after giving in all the love you have, fulfilling their desires, and making the required sacrifices, you still end up hurt, frustrated, alone, and tetherless? To love someone does not make them responsible for making us feel valuable or even loveable.