So --- LOVE. Our mainstream culture likes to emphasize love with a partner, as in a relationship. But there are plenty of other very important kinds of love as well --- for one's parent, grandparent, even pet. I miss my aunt's cat in Taipei very much, for example. It is a real thing. I know those of you with pets feel me.
But in all seriousness, how do you sell makeup, fast cars, beer, clothes and more clothes if you already feel good about yourself? Hey, I'm not saying I am above random consumerism myself. (I just bought a second humidifier for my tiny home the other day.)
So --- what is self-love and appreciation? You and I might view it differently and everyone can have their own definition of it. But I see it as loving yourself enough so you don't look to others to 'fill your cup.' And if you do start a relationship with someone you are not depending on them to fill your emotional needs and are aware that that's your own daily responsibility.
Now I certainly believe that one's partner should be communicative and express their feelings and love for you. But your own mood or feelings of insecurity or lack of confidence in areas are mainly up to you to work on. It would be great if they could be supportive while you are doing so. But the work of building oneself up is mainly on us. I believe self-love is a big component of that. And self-appreciation is a good first stepping stone towards self-love.
It's really a much bigger topic I now realize-- oops-- as I write this. And I look forward to getting into it more this month. Suffice it to say, it's easier said than done, but it's worth the journey, and every small step makes a real difference.