I’m sorry to steal from oldies music but The Beatles were so right. There are few things more important to us as human beings that love. Our first emotion is most likely the love for the mother who nurtures us. We grow to love others and always seek to get others to love us. All of this other-centered love sadly misses the point. The most important love of all is to love ones self. Without self love, other loves are pointless.
Giacomo Casanova spent his adult life in search of love. Perhaps, because as a child he got very little. His mother was a beautiful actress that left him with his grandmother when he was just a baby. His grandmother sent him off to school at nine. Senore Casanova spent his life searching for the love he never received. To him love was very specifically the physical love he found in the arms of a woman. Never experiencing much love as a child, I think he was entitled to define love anyway he chose. We modern lovers have many definitions of the word. There is the romantic love, platonic love of friendship, love of one’s family, and even love of ice cream. I propose that just maybe, we need to place more value on self love. How can we love another if we don’t love ourselves?
I have read Casanova’s memoir, Histoire de Ma Vie, many times and am always struck by the sadness of the man through his words. I think because his family thought so little of him, he never learned to love himself and so searched eternally. This search made him immortal. After all, when you call someone a Casanova, everyone know what you mean.
Let’s stop our searching in vain, look in the mirror and love ourselves just a little more. We are thin enough, rich enough, smart enough, pretty enough, successful enough to deserve our own love. Let’s give it a try.