Love Of Self (Essay)

Words by Jessica Jacolbe.

“Remember! Love of self”–It’s something my dad would yell to me from the car, every time he’d drop me off. When he’d drop me off at school, at a subway station, or at a party where he suspected there’d be alcohol or boys present, he’d remind me, “love of self.” The teenage me replied with a shrug and an eye-roll. But, every time I stepped out of my house I’d hear him;”Remember, love of self.”

Love of self is love for my health, my body, my mind, and my rights. But it wasn’t only about if they knew I loved myself, it’s if I knew I loved myself. And, if I didn’t learn to love myself, I wouldn’t be able to love others. Now, more than ever, I’m reminded of the importance behind the saying.

The past week has been difficult to process. It hurts to see abject hate be legitimized the way it’s been, and will continue to be post-election. I hugged my mom tightly Tuesday night, both of us wishing we were crying for a different reason.

Sick to my stomach at the results, a friend texted me, “we just have to believe that love will prevail.” Can we? When we were confronted with a bleeding wound? When there’s those who voted against their own neighbors? It is a monster we need to face, regardless of who would’ve became president.

Today though, I need the time to mourn, cry, shout, and be with family. And then, I’ll do my part, I’ll work.

After a day of radio silence, I picked up my phone, texted, and called as many people as I could.

I spoke with women who were as mad and scared as I was; as I still am. We comforted each other, while still enraged. We spoke about solutions. We advised each other on the next steps, and were honest as to how our future will be very different from how it is now. We recognized that our love and tears will be the fuel to overcome the next chapter.

I will love myself more than anyone can hate. I will love myself, so I then can love others.

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