the definition of happiness
change your attitude, change the world

the (self) love song


Ah, love. What a tangled, twisted, touchy subject love is. We all want it. Many of us have had it in one form or another. But no matter how many times I've been in and out of it, I still don't quite understand it. It's a slippery little bugger, love. There and not here. Here and gone. Everlasting or fleeting. Either way, it's pretty important in most of our lives. As little as I really know about love, one thing I do know is this: the best way to love someone else and to get the most out of love is to love yourself. I'm sure you've heard it before, but it really is true. We listen to love songs and see romantic comedies and read romance novels, but how much time do we think about loving ourselves?

On the way to work, I was listening to Ani DiFranco's "Smiling Underneath" and I thought to myself: what if this song wasn't about loving someone else, but, instead, it was about loving yourself? What if we had, instead of love songs, self-love songs? Read the lyrics below and instead of thinking of the "you" as someone else, think of "you" as yourself:


I don't mind waiting in line, no, no
I don't mind if the bills pile up and the work is slow
I don't mind the gas or the groceries or the drive
As long as I'm with you, I'm having a good time

I don't mind the stoner waiter or the poorly cooked food
I don't mind little miss kitty or her knucklehead dude
I don't mind if every last person in here is ugly and rude
As long as I'm with you, I've got a good attitude

We could be stuck in traffic for over a week
With a car full of quintuplets who are all cutting teeth
And around my neck could be a flaming Christmas wreath
And I'd still be smiling underneath, smiling underneath

I don't mind waking up early for a flight that's delayed
I don't mind that our week's vacation was chilly and gray
I don't mind the traffic cops or the TSA
As long as I'm with you, I'm having a good day

I don't mind spilling my hot sauce on my white shirt
I don't mind the twinge when I walk in the knee that I hurt
I don't mind my gums peeling back or my hair getting thin
As long as I'm with you, I win

We could be stuck in traffic for over a week
With a car full of quintuplets who are all cutting teeth
And around my neck could be a flaming Christmas wreath
And I'd still be smiling underneath, smiling underneath


When you think about you as yourself, it becomes pretty interesting, doesn't it? When you think about this even more questions might be raised: why do we need someone else to be blissfully happy? Why do we need to have love to have a positive attitude? I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel about the science of attraction the other day, and I'm pretty sure there are chemical changes that occur in the brain when we're in love. Why does this happen? Why can't we feel these feelings for ourselves?

Certainly, love is awesome, amazing, wonderful, unbelievable, and I'm not trying to discredit it's power. But I wonder this: why aren't there so many love songs and not very many self-love songs? Why do so many people value another person's love over their own?

I really enjoyed thinking of DiFranco's song as a personal love song. I'm going to try my hardest to remember it when I'm stuck in traffic or waiting in line. I'm going to ask myself this: "If the person I love most was with me right now, how would I feel?" Then I'll try to feel that feeling all by myself. While other people are great and can make us very, very happy, we don't need them to feel content and relaxed. The only thing you need to have a positive attitude is you.

Once you love yourself, you really can do such a better job of loving others. So I bet if more people wrote love songs to themselves, and really worked on loving themselves first, they would improve their love lives. Something to think about: what would the would be like if we wrote more self-love songs?


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I love it! I really enjoyed envisioning that Ani DiFranco was thinking about self-love. I'll have to go find the song on itunes. I've blogged before about creating a "soundtrack for my life" and this would be a great song for it. (Now I have 3 songs...long way to go!)

p.s. I hope this comment gets published...I've tried commenting many times on your blog, and I seem to be doing it wrong. It never shows up--very frustrating!

Hi Positively Present .. great post .. and I love the idea of smiling underneath .. I think that's a great way of putting it .. smiling all the time - to others and to oneself ..

Thanks - Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

I like thinking of Ani DiFranco's song as a self-love song. That's sweet! In reference to the scientists who have verified chemical changes in the brain when we are in love--I think we also experience similar positive changes when we embrace self-love. This is when we can access our creativity and a higher version of ourselves in our thinking and our relationships to others. It feels good, just as good as being in love! To your point, I think you are right that it is as necessary to love oneself as it is to love another and certainly will affect the kind of love we attract to our life. *I'm adding you to my blogroll!

Kirwin - Don't worry, your comment made it through. I'm sorry you were have trouble before. It's definitely a great song so check it out on iTunes.

Hilary - Smiling underneath is a very cool concept. I didn't really focus on that much in the post, but it's definitely a neat idea to think about.

Jodi - I only wonder what Ani's take on that interpretation of her song would be... I agree, I bet we can experience the same changes when we self-love. Thanks so much for adding me to your blog roll! :)

"Smiling Underneath" - what a great concept! I've never heard this's beautiful. Thanks for sharing it and your thoughts. Many times it seems that NOT having someone to feel that way about is the cause of much of our despair. I agree that it would be wonderful to have love, patience, and compassion for ourselves, and to be gentle with our own hearts.

This is a wonderful post! I love the concept of having a self-love song and I do actually have one. I just didn't think of it as such till I read this.

It's Shine by Take That (a UK band). When I listen to it I view it as my Higher Self speaking to my ego. It also makes me want to get up and dance, and I generally just feel good when I listen to it (and often manifest things very easily immediately afterwards).

I wrote a post about it last year, including the lyrics and video. Check it out and see what I mean:

Hilda - Thanks for sharing your self love song. I'm so glad you can relate to the topic and it's so great that you wrote a post about it. I'm going to check it out right now. :) Keep lovin' yourself!

The comments to this entry are closed.