- Mental Health
Craving for Our Own Love
Time to Start Loving Ourselves
In this materialistically oriented world where possessions often parade as our identity, it may be difficult for some folks to accept as true that we actually "possess" nothing and nobody other than ourselves, for the simple fact that we are the only ones that we can't lose.
Yet, we are so inclined to treat others better than that one person that we truly have, one that stays with us no matter what - pampering our guests with courtesy and compliments, in short, all that which we are so reluctant to give ourselves, except in a stingy supply.
Of course, we don't stop at our guests, friends, and good neighbors, but our generosity spreads over our country whose flag we proudly wave. Sad but true - even willing to sacrifice our life for political adventurism of our current administration, deluded into belief that it's for our country.
All in all, our altruism, patriotism, and every other "-ism" dumped on our plate by the society puts in shadow our survival instinct and our "pursuit of happiness" guaranteed by the Constitution - short of an amendment emphasizing how it's a "subject to change without a notice". What ever happened to our self-love, so conveniently labeled by religion and politicians as a "sin of selfishness"?
Indeed, can you still remember that appeal to the public that turned slogan: "Don't ask what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country". Well, haven't all those lives lost in unnecessary wars, and all that tax peeled from our income been "enough"? Maybe it could be our turn to stand at the end of the receiving line and expect something in return.
Since that is not likely to happen, couldn't we at least start showing more of that overdue love and respect for ourselves?
Wrong Definition of Love
Keeping our love pointed outwards, so many of us have managed to get alienated from ourselves out of moral and religious prohibitions, and even that lame "therapeutic" slogan telling us to "lose ourselves in order to find ourselves". What a bunch of useless crap!
It's saying that we should further ignore that inner cry for our own love and invest more emotions into our career, our political party, our religious congregations, and possibly a family member who might do better if they didn't have us to do it for them.
Well, on the contrary, we should start paying some of that emotional debt to ourselves by giving ourselves more attention are genuine love. For, not giving it to ourselves means that our very definition of love is somewhat out of whack. That's the time to be reminded how we can only give from ourselves what we already have - not something that we have in a short supply ourselves.
When folks like that "fall in love", their "love" merely means a hope of being loved, with a willingness to pay the price attached to it - which is to treat nice the source of their love. Their very capacity to love is low, and they don't even realize that they need you more than they love you.
Who Are We - when We Are Not Them?
Although trying not to sound anything like philosophical about this theme, I can't help but mention how we are living in times of pronounced collectivism that's so ingrained into our nature, while making us feel like a tiny particle of a big human mass. It somehow pushed our individuality to the second place by importance, defining it more as an individualized echo of all social and global interests, concerns, hopes, and uncertainties.
As we wake up in the morning, it takes us awhile to put together all data about who we are - and it only happens after we have read our newspaper with the morning coffee, because only there we can recognized ourselves through our responses to all of it.
We have become our social image, a bunch of our social roles clumped together and ready to be called up by our label to respond accordingly. Where is self-love in all that impersonal mess of almost robotic existence?
Unloved Self Will Let Us Know
I don't know if you see it this way, but most of the folks could greatly benefit by loving themselves more. To those, the Commandment "love your neighbor as you love yourself" would make much more sense if read the other way around: "Love yourself as you love your neighbor" - of course, providing that they don't hate everyone in their neighborhood.
So, before the old age finds us emotionally starved and filled with bitterness and regrets of having lived everyone else's life but our own, could we start befriending that person in the mirror? Who knows, maybe that alone would provide the magic of eliminating a health complaint or two - maybe even a terminal illness, as the medicine records are attesting with many examples of it.
Indeed, many of us don't have the slightest idea how rebellious our bodies can be when deprived of self-love, self-compassion, acceptance, playfulness and humor. To quite few of us that may be more beneficial than vitamins and diets.
Indeed, many so called "spontaneous remissions" resulted by patients with cancer, or other incurable disease resolving to live it up in that time that was left to them by the medical verdict.
With nothing to lose and so much to gain in that leftover time, they opened their soul to themselves in an ultimate act of self-compassion and care for themselves. In a crush course they graduated at self-love. And then they healed - because their life healed.
With that new lease on life, their enthusiasm took them to places where they never before dared to go - like to a park, to hear the bird song for the first time, or to a fence of elementary school during the kids' break, to watch those innocent little creatures in their playful celebration of life. They could suddenly smell the fragrance of spring in the air, with all people looking beautiful.
Maybe a tear rolled down their face in realization how much of it they had ignored for so many years. Let's think about it folks - do we need such a close call in order to start loving and appreciating that life in ourselves?
In the Mirror of a Baby's Eyes
Sometimes it doesn't take more than a baby photo of ourselves to remind us of all those never taken paths that could have made that baby happier. Maybe with a question that would impose itself about any possible way for us to make it up to that innocent little thing staring at us with those eyes that might equally be interpreted as accusing and forgiving.
Hey, there are still some tomorrows ahead, and if that feeling persists, we might even make that baby proud with the way we turned around from that neglect to a brand new self-love. It just crossed my mind - how much of that love that we give to our tiny kids is actually a debt to ourselves projected onto them?
The movie star Al Pacino once said how "actors could learn so much from kids". He probably meant their spontaneity and genuine self-expression. Now, how great it would be if it was not about acting - but being.
The difference would be a truly loved kid inside allowed to come out with the whole glory of his playful soul. Reconnecting with his heart even might inspire us to frame that baby photo and keep it at place where we could see it every day.
I got mine right here on the side of my lap top. We emotionally interact a lot.