When Is “I Love Me” Enough?

Image by Cristi Tohatan on Unsplash

I allow the armchair to absorb me into its comfie embrace as I consider fleshing out the idea for our Monthly Writing Challenge theme of visibility. Numbing thoughts meander but don’t quite couple. My daughter starts playing song after song, sometimes family requests, and youtube videos bounce from television screen to retinas.

Suddenly one stops me short. Almost open-mouth I eyed Demi Lovato parade, meditate, dance and kung fu fight through her 2020 song “I Love Me”.

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Watch “I Love Me” here. To those who embrace an adversity to curse words or with young spawn nearby please be warned that there are some explicit lyrics. These lyrics can also be seen in full at the end of this piece.

The lyrics that cause such a teeth-baring reaction? Words almost extreme enough that drool figuratively spills into my lap at a rate faster than the Sir Adam Beck hydro-electric generating facilities in Niagara Falls.

“I wonder when I love me is enough?”

Bada bing. Chernobyl Explosions (dampened by the drool, of course). Mic drop. Or however you choose to vocalize or visualize the mental blast that occurs when neurons meld together in that Eureka moment.

Why can’t loving myself be enough? WHEN will it be enough? How can I know to the core of my soul that I — no matter what my specific me looks and smells and feels like— is enough?

[Yes, I am fully aware that, as a Christian, my ultimate sense of worth comes from the Lord AND I also believe that I need to translate His love into a practical, earthly way of loving myself and others. I think that I, and other humans, have done a crap job of this. He loves us more than I have loved myself and others.]

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My comrade-in-running (and other life matters) and I discuss this often, occasionally accompanied by faint wheezing if our pace is quick enough.

The intricacy of how and why we can’t feel like we are truly enough is substantially fraught with puzzle-ish pieces. I can blame media, other women, white men, my parents, and my childhood. I can criticize politicians, babysitters, teachers, and the hamster that peed on my wrist in second grade, and yet no answers will clearly surface.

There is so much more to self-loathing than transparent and simplistic issues.

But — radical thought — what if I just TRIED? What if, even, if only momentarily, I attempted to love my thighs that resemble cottage cheese forgotten in the back of the fridge (minus the moss-ish fuzz)? What if I whispered, and meant, “I love you” to the bulbous milk sacks that fed my babies? Yes, those same ones that now meander to say a friendly hello to the cavernous slit of a belly button below.

What if I quit apologizing for my brain, quirky characteristics, wrinkles, sags, supposedly-misshapen vulva, elbows, nostrils and clawish toenails, and just decided to love them?

I don’t love my feline pet any less because his tail kinks at the end. I don’t despise my umbrella plant’s three stalks that insist on arching away from one another. Why, then, do I dislike my body features that don’t seem to “fit the norm”?

And what is the norm anyway?

When will I stop apologizing?

Sonya Renee Taylor commences her book “The Body Is Not An Apology” with a poem dedicated to her mother. I wept when I read the lines that state “Her belly was an altar of flesh built in remembrance of us, by us”.

Every part of my body tells a story. A beautiful or painful (or both) story that makes me the very person I am.

Can I start to make that story one of love?

By halting my self-criticism can I become an example to my daughter? Am I able to commit to stopping the words “I am so fat” and “I need to lose weight” from thoughtlessly and automatically slipping from my mouth? Will I be able to remove from my self-talk “Oh, that was so stupid” (said to myself, out loud, as I smack my forehead and/or curse)?

Can’t see what I am, I just see what I’m not…

’Cause I’m a black belt when I’m beating up on myself
But I’m an expert at giving love to somebody else
I, me, myself and I don’t see eye to eye
Me, myself and I (Demi Lovato’s “I Love Me”)

What will I commit to doing? What will YOU commit to doing?

What is one simple step that we could do that would, as Sonya Renee Taylor lovingly enforces throughout her book, change ourselves through radical self-love, in order to change the world?

“When is ‘I Love Me’ Enough?”

How about right now? In this split millisecond, and the next, and today, and tomorrow? How about I commit to letting “I Love Me” be more than enough?

Full Song Lyrics for Demi Lovato’s “I Love Me”

Flippin’ through all these magazines
Tellin’ me who I’m supposed to be
Way too good at camouflage
Can’t see what I am, I just see what I’m not
I’m guilty ‘bout everything that I eat (every single day)
Feelin’ myself is a felony
Jedi level sabotage
Voices in my head make up my entourage

’Cause I’m a black belt when I’m beating up on myself
But I’m an expert at giving love to somebody else
I, me, myself and I don’t see eye to eye
Me, myself and I

Oh, why do I compare myself to everyone?
And I always got my finger on the self destruct
I wonder when I love me is enough (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I wonder when I love me is enough (yeah, yeah, yeah)

Why am I always looking for a ride or die?
’Cause mine’s the only heart I’m gonna have for life
After all the times I went and fucked it up
(All the times I went and fucked it up)
I wonder when I love me is enough (yeah, yeah, yeah)

Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
I wonder when I love me is enough
I wonder when I love me is enough

Haters that live on the internet
Live in my head, should be paying rent
I’m way too good at listening
All these comments fucking up my energy

’Cause I’m a black belt when I’m beating up on myself
But I’m an expert at giving love to somebody else
I, me, myself and
I, don’t see eye to
Eye, me, myself and
I

Oh, why do I compare myself to everyone?
And I always got my finger on the self destruct
I wonder when I love me is enough (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I wonder when I love me is enough (yeah, yeah, yeah)

Why am I always looking for a ride or die?
’Cause mine’s the only heart I’m gonna have for life
After all the times I went and fucked it up
(All the times I went and fucked it up)
I wonder when I love me is enough (is enough)

Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
I wonder when I love me is enough
I wonder when I love me is enough

I’m my own worst critic
Talk a whole lot of shit
But I’m a ten out of ten
Even when I forget
I-I-I-I
(I’m a ten out of ten, don’t you ever forget it)

I’m my own worst critic
Talk a whole lot of shit
But I’m a ten out of ten
Even when I forget
I-I-I-I

Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
I wonder when I love me is enough
I wonder when I love me is enough

Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
I wonder when I love me is enough
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah

Source: LyricFind

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You want me to WHAT?!? Okay... Editor, Doctor Funny. Satirical takes on all that life chucks my way.

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Jennifer McDougall

Jennifer McDougall

You want me to WHAT?!? Okay... Editor, Doctor Funny. Satirical takes on all that life chucks my way.

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