Your potential is.

The self love craze has consumed podcast, books, social media and the world. As a concept what more could we want from a nation or citizens of the world then to love ourselves? Should we not respect ourselves and consider that maybe we should give grace to ourselves and in turn to others? I think these questions are an easy YES for most people.

Have you ever questioned societies, influencers or authors representation of self love? What is even self? What is love?

The concept of the Self is the conscious recognition of “I”; a being recognizing itself in space. This space could be physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise. In this recognition of Self we must also recognize the various forms of Self we can show up as, at various points in time.

Is our high school Self still us 10 years after graduation?

Are we the same person after a hard breakup?

Are we the same person after switching careers?

It’s safe to say that we have tendencies in our personalities/biology that would leave us largely unchanged but if various forms of our lives change over time it’s also reasonable to say that we also change with it; or in the very least it would benefit if we did. After all:


Without understanding Self how can we be sure the love we are trying to send is even reaching the right Self?

We are not only the thing that IS but we are also the thing that WAS and most powerfully we are the thing that COULD be.

A problem I have found in this self love space is this concept of “you are enough.” It’s not that the idea escapes me, I understand the empathy behind the words. However, I believe that empathy creates a box around the individual.

If you are truly ENOUGH then what purpose would there be in striving for more in your life?

If we were truly ENOUGH then wouldn’t we all live in a utopia, expressing our fullest potential with every breath?

To triple down, if we were TRULY ENOUGH, then what would the need for the self love or self help craze that has literally consumed our country especially?

The harsh truth is that we are NOT enough and we have come to realize this insecurity. As we uncover it more we are seeking paths that require more external validation, because even if we know what our insecurities are, we find comfort in knowing we are not alone.

In reality, we are alone.

Not in the sense of loneliness, most of us have some form of community. But rather the case of our Self, be it love or improvement, we are alone in our pursuits because it’s our RESPONSIBILITY to help ourselves. It is actually our human duty to discover our potential. We are productivity machines, without our productive nature we would have not survived 300 millennia, or more.


That is precisely why we are the thing that COULD be if we exposed ourselves to the elements that exploit our potential.

Self love/improvement isn’t just empathy, comfort, and compassion. It’s also criticism, extremely uncomfortable, humbling, truthful, and painful. It’s the thing you don’t want to do, when you least want to do it. The actual concept of self love is full of NUANCE and nuance in public or a general space often gets oversimplified. Often watered down to a more “palatable” message. Of course everyone understands different concepts at varying degrees of difficulty, but I am offended when something is watered down based on an assumption of my comprehension.

Nuance is neither simple or general. It’s SPECIFIC. If we are looking to love something or improve it we should do so SPECIFICALLY, not whimsically. Reality is hardly described as whimsical.

The problem with being told “you are enough” for too long, is you BELIEVE it. Until that whimsical foundation is eroded by life’s rigors. Until we find that in reality we are most likely not enough. The beautiful part about life as a human however, is that we COULD be enough. If we applied ourselves appropriately to the challenges we receive in life. No matter how drastic or traumatic.

It is actually the best case scenario, because if we were all “enough” we would likely be bored with ourselves and with each other. Not being enough is precisely why we as humans continue to strive for MORE, ask WHY, discover HOW, and become WHAT we envision.


You have your whole life to figure it out. Respectfully, it’s your responsibility.

It may actually be the most important thing you do while you are here.

Derek Arellano

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