Back during the Dark Ages one was required to take into consideration what others thought of them. Individuality, personal space, all of them did not matter that much. You were required to defend your honor. What others said about you, you either had to accept as truth, or fight to prove it as a lie.
Quite different from the way we see ourselves today, right?
Kids have their own rooms, their own private spaces. They are told to love themselves, to not care what others think of them.
Someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
Something like that.
But what if they’re right?
What if it’s best to live in a social environment and try to understand why others might not like you? Why others might say bad things about you…
We live in a strange world. The world of selfies, of personal development, of loving yourself to the point of narcissism. We are told that we are unique, beautiful even if we’re not…
Sometimes we tend to take this a bit too far than it’s healthy. Really.
Because loving yourself is not about being delusional. It’s not about imagining qualities you do not possess, or minimizing someone else’s superiority in certain areas.
Sorry to break it to you, but we’re not equal. We never were. Never could be. Some are bestowed with better genetics than others, while some are granted certain privileges. Pretending otherwise is madness.
I’m not arguing for our limitations, just acknowledging they exist. I’m not going to be six feet tall no matter what. But the truth is that even though there are quite a lot of limitations, most of them don’t matter that much, and most of them are self-made.
And this is what is so dangerous about this “self-love” phenomenon. It becomes an excuse not to become your best possible self. Not to improve. Not to reach for the stars. It’s just a way to lie to yourself.
There’s no excuse not to be in the best physical shape. Really. There are people out there with no legs, who still work out. I believe that you’d have a hard time finding a good enough reason as for why you’re not out there running, while you have two perfectly working feet.
If you delude yourself into thinking that you need to love yourself just the way you are, and that you can sit back and relax, that’s just insane.
Self-love is a balancing act. It is constantly calibrating. You need to accept the things you can’t change, the things no one could ever change, you need to assume responsibility for what you can change, and you need to always strive to understand what’s important to you and why.
Honestly, that’s the thing…
If you’re poor and you lie to yourself that all rich people are scammers, thieves, or just had good luck, then you’re just the guy who calls the police on his neighbors because they didn’t invite him to the party.
If, on the other hand, you want to be poor because it’s not important to you, because you’d much rather aim low in life, you’d much rather chill with your friends, act lazy, and binge watch television, than that’s it…
But that’s almost impossible to do, right?
Self-love is not staring in the mirror and repeating affirmations that are meant to make you feel like you’re the best of the best. Self-love is acting like you actually love yourself, like you genuinely give a damn about your mind, body, and spirit.
Doing what needs to be done to improve your life, no matter how uncomfortable that makes you feel.
To love yourself means to know who you are, what you want out of life, and what to do in order to get what you want. To love yourself means to constantly fight a good fight, to take the load less traveled, to struggle, to educate yourself in all the important areas of your life, to try to live your best life, to influence others in positive ways, to show gratitude for what you have…
To love yourself means to play the cards you’ve been dealt by life as if they were the ones you wanted.
To love yourself means to accept that there’s good and bad in you, that you’ll make mistakes, that you’ll fail in life, that you’ll get hurt, that it happens to us all. To accept that there’s truth in what others say about you, but also lies.
To love yourself means to believe in yourself, in your dreams, in your desires. To have faith. To have courage. To keep your head high, no matter what. To never get down on your knees, wishing that life were easier.
To love yourself, to actually love yourself, means to fight a war that never ends. Each day, a battle.
And, in the end, to love yourself is to accept that you are human. That you are not perfect, and that no one else is either, but that you can always progress.
To love yourself means to be proud, but never satisfied.