Self-love can’t be taught; it must be felt


So many years of education, yet nobody taught us how to love ourselves.

Scrolling through the beloved VSCO, after a day of school where I most likely didn’t retain anything I learned, I came across this quote. After a quick, unassuming glance, I thought I agreed with it.

No, I thought, I was never taught how to love my curly hair or braces or glasses or laugh or smile or eyes.

Staring at the quote until my phone screen darkened and eventually shut off, I switched my original stance.

Nobody taught me because it can’t be taught.

From a literal sense, the quote is half true. Because, after all, there is no course offered in schools that teaches you how to fall in love with yourself.

If there was, it would be corrupt and counterintuitive, and I would despise it. If it were to follow in the footsteps of a core class, for example, lessons would be offered and homework would be assigned and tests would be given, and something as subjective as self-love would be squeezed into forty-minute lesson plans and multiple-choice quizzes.

Self-love can’t be taught because there is no universal formula for loving yourself. It’s not a lesson plan—it’s a feeling.

It’s good hair days, color-coordinated outfits, strawberries with sugar, waffles for dinner, getting ahead on homework, and anything else that makes your soul smile with satisfaction.

So, no, loving ourselves hasn’t been taught, because it can’t.

Self-love can’t be taught, because there is no universal formula for loving yourself.”

Because the only person who knows self-love is the self.

People aren’t obligated to teach us how to love ourselves because the way they make their souls smile isn’t the same as the way I make mine smile or you make yours smile. It’s not up to them, this ambiguous “nobody,” to teach you; it’s up to you to feel and experience. Not learn. Feel.

Sure, there are people along the way who can guide you, nurture you, and support you in the gradual journey to feeling the love you deserve to give yourself. But it can’t be taught by someone who isn’t you, who doesn’t know you like you know yourself, who loves themselves differently than you.

So, no, after all these years of education, self-love hasn’t been taught.

Because it must be felt.