‘I recently read a post that said, self-love is the best love that I will ever have and that you should love yourself first before loving anyone else’. Are these pangs of outbursts what you call as self love?
‘I was depressed and to overcome that, uploaded a perfectly imperfect photograph, brainstormed witty captions and got self-validated’. Is something as trivial as that (or not) is what self-love means to you?
‘I binged on junk because I saw my feed filled with posts on how no one can shame your body and decided to hog more because, why not?’ Is this what self-love has ended up propagating?
Yes, a degree of self-‘like’ gives our inner-selves an approval, a re-assurance when needed and helps us get on with things. But is it a license to walk away from the ruins?
Here is why I think self-love requires us to re-evaluate the way we look at it!
1. You feel better but do you necessarily get better?
Self-love evangelists remind you to accept your flaws as a part of yourself and are abstracted into a lump of “Things I have less to do about, must accept and move on”. Momentarily it does help you feel rosy but you do not evolve by cocooning yourself in the pretext of self-love. You need not feel less-worthy, lose self-respect or self confidence, but can build a way to becoming a better version of yourself. Your maladies are not you, you don’t have to lose self-worth and hate yourself for being flawed. But is it right to shun the doors completely?
2. The opposite of love is not hate, where is neutrality?
It is a common perception that if you don’t like something, you must automatically dislike it. Any emotion or opinion placed on a scale where the other end is a different emotion but is wrongly assumed to be mutually-exclusive with the other emotion. The opposite of not liking something can be neutral. The goal is not to love oneself but to stop hating oneself.
3. Confidence propels us forward, but doubt spurs us to prepare.
We are constantly reminded and encouraged by the cult of self-love that we must love ourselves without doubt but do not under-estimate the constructive power of self-doubt. When you doubt yourself, you are consistently trying to look harder at ways to better yourself and not settling for less. It leaves you grounded.
Does this mean self-love is not important? It is important. It matters. But much lesser than you think it does. We may love ourselves yesterday but not today. Does it matter? We go through a sea of emotions and time is fleeting and transient. Self-love cannot be a barometer to make decisions and let our flaws slip away. Learn that new language, that new musical instrument and execute that travel plan. Don’t wait until you love yourself to live the way you love.
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