Last Saturday was Valentine's Day, so it's apt that I post something about love, which is Jane Austen's most popular topic. However, I'd like to post something about self-love and self-appreciation this time, because without a good relationship with ourselves, any relationships with others are bound to fail.
|Lizzy Bennet (Jennifer Ehle) mimicking Darcy's insult to Jane Bennet|
From Pride and Prejudice Chapter III Vol I; Darcy was about to deliver his famous insult on Lizzy's character.
"...turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, ``She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.''
Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings towards him. She told the story however with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous."
Let's forget for a moment that Lizzy and Darcy would later find deep connexion between them etc. etc. At this moment, Lizzy did not let Darcy's comments define her. She knew her self worth, and she appreciates herself for who she is. I think had she not maintained her composure and fought Darcy back, the latter would not find himself helplessly attracted to her.
I do think, though, romance is important. But prior to that, we need to love ourselves first and nurture a loving relationship with ourselves. That, I'd say, includes accepting our worst sides/characters and grow from it.
Belated Happy Valentine's Day, dear friends! May Love be with us always.