It’s an interesting thing, this “me” business. Has anyone noticed an overwhelming trend lately of “self love” exercises, mantras, self help books, seminars, step by step guides, sayings, classes, songs, rituals, proclamations, life coaches, and more? Has anyone else noticed a trend of people telling other people things like this:
“I love myself!”
“You should love yourself!”
“Don’t you love yourself?”
“Learn to love yourself!”
Or speaking about someone in a negative context by saying things like,
“He doesn’t love himself…”
or, “She just does not know how to love herself…” to explain things like depression, sadness, or self-destructive behavior?
To go out on a limb here – I am going to ask a question. Why does everyone accept these things without analysis or scrutiny? Because it sounds good to say “love yourself”.
Whats wrong with love, right?? Who on earth could be against love? Love is the greatest thing ever created! Love is the most revered thing in the world!
Well… here’s a question. What if, things that we call “love” are not really love?
When someone says, “love yourself” – what do they MEAN by that? Do they mean take care of your body? Brush your teeth at night? Buy yourself nice things? Hang around with nice people who treat you with kindness?
It seems to me that many people seem to believe that they are at a deficit of some kind – and that unless they do very very specific things – that it means they don’t “love” themselves. People stand in front of the mirror doing exercises where they look at themselves and say over and over and over for 5 minutes – “I love you.” As a way to condition their own minds? Or to hopefully slowly rebuild something that they are missing? Wait a minute…
No, seriously – just wait a minute…
Why is this valued and held as such gospel? Is it really that bad to not think incredibly highly of yourself? Honestly! Because the last time I checked – that was called HUMILITY. I’m not talking about self hate here. I’m talking about humility. A state where you start at a kindergarten level by acknowledging that *you* are not the center of the universe (I know, a radical thought this day in age…). That YOU have many many flaws and likely always will! Why is this important? Because it is the opposite of narcissism.
Narcissists refuse to see their character flaws. They may pretend to see them…but they never actually want to change. If they could live their entire lives being the center of the universe where everyone around them caters to their personality, desires, and demands…or even better, where people worship them – they would! Now, how does this relate to us? Oh, yeah, the whole self-love thing…
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with loving. If that means we love ourselves, great. But when we start spending all of our time OBSESSING over “loving” ourselves, thinking that learning how to do this is the entire purpose of life, paying a life coach hundreds of dollars for their E-Book, and figuring out all of the ways in which we can put ourselves first (?), do everything for ourselves first, set aside time every day to repeat mantras to neurolinguistically program ourselves into a state of “self love”…
Is that edging closer to the slide that goes down into the public pool of narcissism, so to speak? Is that time we could be spending doing something nice or helpful for OTHER people? And if we chose to do the latter, how would that affect the overall state of things?
Similarly to how, when you say you love yourself – it doesn’t really matter what you say, if you aren’t DOING things that reflect that statement… When we say we love other people – if we aren’t DOING things to reflect that, are we really being true to how we say we feel? Is that love?
These are all just questions…
Mostly meant to encourage us all to really take a look at what we are spending our time on. What we are spending our focus on. What our goals are for our activities… Are they all self-serving? Or are they positioned to serve…?
Is one of these better than the other…?
Thats a question you’ll have to ask yourself…and then pay attention to the feeling in your gut that happens immediately following your answer.
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