The Urgency of Self-love
It’s a new era in this generation called “millennials”, the tech generation, the free spirits, and the “self-loved”. I am 100% pro learning to love yourself, I would love to see everyone who I cross energy with to experience the peace and joy that accompanies self-love, however, I think many people miss the purpose of what that (self-love) means. In this new era I’ve noticed a lot of the claims of self-love are coming from a sort of narcissistic, selfish, sometimes fearful place. The “I’m going to love me because no one deserves me” people, the “I’m going to love me because no one else will love me” people, or the “every time I’ve tried it fails so I’m all I got” self-love type of people. These are dangerous philosophies.
The urgency of self-love that I believe people miss is the purpose to elevate the love for oneself in order to love someone else the way you love you. With unrepentant sincerity. Everyone wants a great love but we cannot for the life of us be one. We cannot give what we don’t have and so, often times, we create these affectations of love lacking the truth of it. We do good in order to get back, we love those that are easy to love, the ones that we agree with; there is no real sincerity in that kind of behavior. This is a generation that is constantly looking on the outside trying to find meaning for what’s on the inside; their desire to be loved, not realizing the lack of real love within is the cause of their confusion. You see people trying to satiate this desire with things and other peoples superficial attention, you notice they have no real sense of joy or peace because they aren’t being their authentic selves and they get exhausted. Some of these people often say things like “I don’t trust anyone”, “I’m focused on me”, “I’m about the money” and the like. They adopt principles that isolate instead of invite, keeping them from having to express humility or sincerity all the while exhorting “self love”. They are often overly sensitive, easily offended, inconsistent, uncommitted, and show no real interest others happiness if it doesn’t include a reward for them.
There are those who are on the right path of self love but they struggle because of the company they keep. They wish to be influential love givers to the people they love and care about but those people don’t love and care about themselves the way they should to have the capacity to receive the truth of love they desire. These people usually end up corrupting their idea of self love that they are practicing simply because of their stubborn unwillingness to change their environment. I believe very firmly that you cannot learn to be different in the company of people desperately trying to stay the same. Those people want the benefit without the effort. A part of self love means severing connections with dead weight, destructive influences, and toxic relationships. You can only love people based on the quality of love you have for yourself and the quality of love people believe they deserve; these things have to match. Unfortunately, we have people who are dying trying to save people who can only be saved by themselves.
We forfeit our right to love for a twisted affectation of love that’s at best, and in part, sensually masturbatory. What I mean by that is we focus on just pleasing ourselves and feeling good. We stroke our own egos for a climactic attention high all the while holding on to a cynicism about love that includes anyone else because that kind of love has been defeated within us. We forfeit humility for pride because no one ever lifted us up, we forfeit courtesy because no one ever put us first, we forfeit patience because being offended is way easier than trying to understand, we forfeit honesty because we have been lied to when we allowed our hearts to lead, we forfeit forgiveness because we need to remember the pain in order to justify our condition, and we forfeit self-control because we feel like we deserve to revel in our lust for feeling good. These things corrupt our character, they corrupt the idea of love in its entirety and leaves us with a void of longing that will never be filled. We will become angrier, more bitter, more contemptuous, self seeking tyrants, turning into the very people we were betrayed by in turn betraying ourselves.
Self-love embodies the character traits of humility, courtesy, patience, honesty, forgiveness, and self-control. It cannot be defeated by the decisions of other people, it cannot be swayed by their opinions, it will not lack in provision for you, and it surely will not keep you from loving other people. When we learn to accept the trials of life and learn to overcome these toxic philosophies that keep us prisoners to doubt and fear our perspectives on love will begin to change. We will stop feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with us, but everything to do with the condition of other peoples minds. Love is not the romanticized happily ever after that’s beat into our minds. Its rough, hard and takes time and effort that doesn’t always feel good. It’s a lifestyle that takes practice and study, it has to be who you are before it can be something you do. Although we may fail at it enough to frustrate us to the point of giving up, one thing remains true about love and its that love done wrong may hurt for the moment but love done right heals for a lifetime. That’s enough to keep going.