Lessons in self-love from Aladdin
Yes, I’m working Aladdin into a Valentine’s Day Post about self-love. Stay with me here. So my friend got free tickets to see the show on Broadway last night and invited me along. Of course I said yes. Because the Genie and a magic carpet ride on the glittering broadway stage – how could I not want to see that? Perfect #galentinesday treat.
But I haven’t seen the movie in ages, and while I remember all the words to all the songs, I had forgotten the smart humor and downright legit life lessons contained in the story. When I was younger that stuff was probably largely lost on me, but this is a definite Disney win on all fronts.
And the Broadway show delivers. But back to the self-love.
What Self-Love Really Means
Before I go any further, I want to define self-love. It is not about vanity or selfishness whatsoever. It is certainly not narcissism. Self-love means regard for your own happiness, and knowing your own self-worth. In order to cultivate meaningful, nurturing, and loving relationships and achieve success – however you define it, it is highly important to develop self-love.
Because a lack of self-love can land us in relationships and careers that drain us rather than lift us up. When we are not cultivating self-love, we often make decisions out of fear. Which brings us back to Aladdin.
Aladdin – Wealthy by other Measures
Aladdin is a really well developed lead male character, and a really great lesson in comparison and self-worth. He’s constantly comparing himself to others and believes he isn’t good enough as he is – just a common ‘street rat.’ He spends the majority of the story pretending to be someone he is not in order to gain the love and affection of Jasmine. We all know how well that works out for anyone.
He wishes for the Genie to make him a Prince, and he instantly transforms into a suave, wealthy jewel-wearing figure, bravado and all. He is just like every other wannabe suitor Jasmine has turned away.
But once he begins to act more in line with his own true nature, he ultimately proves himself to be the most honest, trustworthy, and upstanding character in Jasmine’s world. He wins her heart only when he accepts himself for who he is and owns it fully. What he lacks in fortune, he makes up for in moral fortitude. He exemplifies the notion that true wealth is not how much you have in the bank.
“Like so many things, it is not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside that counts.”
Jasmine – The ultimate Girl Boss
Meanwhile, Jasmine is a total badass boss of a woman. She knows her worth lies far beyond the wealth and privilege her title confers and rebels against the confines of her station’s strictures. While she’s strong-willed, she’s also remarkably understanding and forgiving.
Aladdin needed a lesson in self-love and self worth. Jasmine was the role model. Each character shows in their own way that cultivating self-love and owing your worth is the only way to invite true love, wealth and happiness into your world.
Together, they truly created a whole new world.
Filling your Cup with Self-Love
Self-love unfortunately isn’t a switch you can simply turn on. But there are some simple ways to work on cultivating self-love. Here are some simple steps:
- Become mindful of what you truly need and want, not simply what others around you tell you you should want.
- Practice quality self-care. Nourish yourself with activities that support your overall wellbeing and happiness, such as eating well, moving your body, getting proper sleep, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in healthy social interactions.
- Forgive and accept your humanness. Imperfection is the norm; perfection is impossible. Accept your perceived flaws, mistakes, and failures with humor and grace and turn them into opportunities for learning and growth.
- Live with intention. Even if you are not clear on your life ‘purpose,’ you can design your life with intention, such as to live mindful, meaningful, and healthy life. Make choices that align with these intentions, and learn to say no to anything that does not support your vision.
I hope that your day is filled with everything you love. And I hope that every day going forward continues to fill your cup of self love.
And who knows, you might just cultivate a whole new world of your own.
Check out these nourishing recipes without the nasties, because it’s always about the self-love: