Since it’s Venus Retrograde right now, we’re all gonna be having our beliefs around self-love thrown up to the surface for us to address and adjust. This might not be pretty.
But the good thing about this retrograde period is we’ll come out the other side with a new outlook on what it means to truly put ourselves first, and I can think of a few wise folk who’ve already beat me to the explainin…
Plus I have this Venus Retrograde sat RIGHT on my natal Pluto so I’m hellbent on transforming true love perceptions right now – you can see more of this over on YouTube where I’ve just started doing love tarotscopes, but FIRST, let’s take a look at some self-love wisdom…
Love yourself like a queen
In the famous words of Rupaul: “If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Amen, right? But why?
We can all throw this famous phrase around, but do we really understand it?
What does it mean to love yourself first? And why is it so important?
Well of course, the most obvious reason is that when you don’t love yourself, you’ll continually put someone else’s needs before your own, which will result in eventually feeling a bit resentful.
Despite the fact that you’re the one offering up the love, if you don’t receive the same back you’ll no doubt feel taken for granted or you’ll burn out from trying to always make someone else happy.
Either way, it’s not good for the giver, who starts to feel used, or the receiver, who feels burdened and under pressure to return all that “love” you keep heaping on them.
PLUS, if you don’t have self-love, there’s likely a bunch of stuff that you don’t approve of within yourself, like your bad hand-eye coordination, dry skin and inability to wake up early.
THEN because you’re denying all that stuff within yourself and getting all angry and impatient about it, you’ll start to judge it in other people, just like you’re judging yourself.
The less you accept your own flaws, the more likely you are to reject them in other people.
And when you start rejecting other people you’re heading into lonely territory.
Just like Rupaul says in the video above: when people judge you it has more to do with them and less to do with you.
The reason “if you can’t love yourself” has become a catchphrase for the drag world (and beyond) is because to perform drag you have to accept some pretty non-binary, non-average, often not societally accepted parts of yourself, and when you do that, you accept it in others too, even when they’re completely different to you.
This is what creates a drag family and keeps them tight – supporting each other through their art and their expression and the things they’ve perceived as flaws for so long – because when you accept your own flaws, you can extend acceptance to others.
So, we can learn from the queen of queens that this idea of loving yourself essentially means accepting who you are, perceived warts n all, so that you can extend love to others with all their warts and flaws too – and not take it all so seriously!
It’s a beautiful thing, and something that will allow us to shine out our sparkly selves without a care for how we’re received. True self-acceptance and courageous unconditional love. Snaps for that.
Love yourself like you’re one with divine (cos you are)
So moving onto our next enlightened master of love and another side of the self-love mystery, we’re gonna have to go deep.
When you don’t love yourself, how on earth do you even know what you’re giving IS love? What if it’s something else?
If you don’t know what real love feels like, how could you possibly give it? What reference point do you have?
This is explained pretty nicely by Osho (the legendary Indian spiritual guru who kicked up a storm in the seventies for being all pro sex, love and other hippie stuff)
If you’re not into videos, he basically says a man being told to love his neighbour when he doesn’t love himself is ridiculous cos he’s like a beggar begging from himself. He’s offering something he doesn’t have.
You might think now – “well parents love their children regardless” and I wish I could say that were true in every instance, but realistically, there are plenty of parents out there that treat their children abysmally, and you know what they all have in common? A lack of self-love.
No self-respecting adult would harm a child, but then most self-respecting adults have a certain amount of self-respect, hence the phrase.
Self-respect is essentially synonymous with self-love.
When you respect someone, you think they’re pretty neat. You allow them freedom to express themselves and make their own decisions and you don’t beat them up when they get it wrong.
It’s basically the same premise for yourself, and only when you have it, can you give it to others.
Self-respect is knowing that you’re not perfect but being ok with it anyway. It’s being able to look your demons and your hang-ups in the face and say ok what can we do better?
It’s having compassion for yourself and your struggles, so that you can then reflect that compassion out to others who struggle too, but in order to really help them, we have to first understand what exactly that feels like – to pull someone up out of darkness.
That’s why it has to start with self.
Osho is telling us to be selfish because when we start recognising our own needs and fulfilling them, realising that we don’t need to look outside of ourselves for love and embodying it without conditions, judgements or expectations, we can begin to understand what it feels like to love, and only then can we love others.
We grow up in a world where “selfish” is a dirty word, but in reality, once you start being truly selfish, you can fill up the glass with some to spare – you can’t pour from an empty glass and wine goes down so much better with friends, right?
So let’s all pour ourselves a big old cup of self-love and say cheers to that.
Can I get a namaste?
Ps. If you want some tailored Venus Rx self-love lessons, check out my pick a card tarot vid below:
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