Hi Alberto — you bring up fairly interesting and insightful points that are worth fleshing out. Seeing as this was a reflective piece based on my personal experience, my definition of “self-love” was similarly subjective. To clarify, for me, loving myself was based on self-confidence, which I derived from being able to look at myself in the mirror and be wholly content with what I saw in front of me. That was inextricably tied to my appearance. It’s not a healthy definition of self-love, surely one I would never recommend to any person, but it is what I believed to be true at the time. Hence, the emptiness I felt inside. But to answer your question: I really did believe that learning to love myself would free me from all insecurities (which I thought were stumbling blocks) and allow me to love others.
If I may - I’d also like to challenge your statement: “when you let yourself go, you gave yourself permission to be yourself and then you could love yourself.” I don’t think that’s true in my case. I never reached that level of self-confidence — God knows I still don’t love myself and I’m okay with that — but rather I came to the hopeful realization that whether or not I love myself is completely irrelevant when it comes to expressing unconditional love for others. Instead, I would re-word that sentence to read “when you let yourself go, you gave yourself permission to be yourself, realize that God loves you and because of this, you can love others.”
I don’t believe I could’ve arrived at this conclusion by any other means had I not submitted myself completely to God’s grace and loving-kindness. :)