Originally published on Story Behind the Cloth as part of their Valentine Self-love party, February 10, 2018.
We like labels. Colorfully embroidered, easy to read, descriptive, labels. Labels can identify manufacturer, origin, fiber content, and, care instructions.
Yet, even when a label is clearly printed with all FTC required elements, can it define the product's quality or value? A wise consumer will be more likely to purchase a product if familiar with a brand they recognize on the label. A valuable brand recognized for its quality.
We often label and define each other and ourselves by perceived identifiable terms:
But do these terms truly describe our environmental, social, intellectual, and sensual needs? Self-Love is providing adequate care to maintain the quality of our content.
Could you create a label that fully describes your content? Would you be able to list all your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs? You can imagine the lengthy list of instructions the label would require.
Our parentage (manufacturer) and place of birth (origin) may be out of our control, but the nurture we received at our origin has a strong influence on our mental and emotional needs.
Self-love gives us the knowledge and strength needed to value ourselves no matter our gender, nationality, occupation, status, or age. When we recognize ourselves as beautiful, intellectual, loving, artistic (fill in your own content here), we are empowering ourselves with what the Greeks called, Philautia.
Philautia is self-love in its healthiest form. It shares the philosophy of “self-compassion” which is the deep understanding that only once you have the strength to love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin, will you be able to provide love to others. As Aristotle put it, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.”
You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to truly be happy is to find that unconditional love for yourself. This self-love naturally affords you with increased confidence, poise, and self-assurance.
Practicing self-love naturally assists you with defining your own personal style, labeled by YOU! Here are some simple steps to help you create a personal style that deserves your own label:
Honestly identify your needs.
Attentively identify the styles that make you look and feel amazing.
When my active, intuitive, and ambitious daughter was in the 4th grade, she entered a music contest. After working to prepare her for the competition, her teacher confessed to having trouble relating to her.
“Well, you know, your daughter is gregarious.” He said.
Despite being a word nerd, I hadn't heard that word used in this context (about a child).
“I’m sorry, what do you mean by that?” I asked.
“You know, she’s very outspoken and likes to be the center of attention.” He said.
As a young mother, I was not sure what to do with that. But I recognized it as his label, not mine, not her fathers, and certainly not hers.
“Well, perhaps she was graced with those qualities for a reason?” I responded.
We never used that word again, nor allowed her teacher to use it.
Many years later, that same girl would take me to visit the ancient British monument at Stonehenge and encourage me to love myself through a, particularly difficult time. She returned the self-love she was allowed to own as a child.
This article is dedicated to her and her loving husband on this, February 10, 2018, their 6th Wedding Anniversary. Without their love and dedication, I may have been lost after that visit to Stonehenge. But with her encouragement, I regained the ability to love myself again and found the confidence I needed to repair relationships, develop my own fashion business, and share my personal style with the world on my mission to wreck, less.
Now, it’s your turn. What's your label going to say?
Purchase items from this blog post and more on Poshmark, Depop, Etsy or Ebay.
Gwen Bielicki - vintage style addict, aging gracelessly
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