The art of self-love…
Loving yourself is usually equated with selfishness, narcissism or hedonism. It’s not.
It simply means self-respect. You can see it as observing the golden rule but in reverse; do unto self as you would do unto others.
The more you respect yourself, the more you respect others. The more you respect others, the more you respect yourself. This is the circle of compassion that raises you to the highest form of self love; where you and others are one.
I do not mean some sort of hippy Zen state. It just means that when you respect yourself as much as all the life around you, you can see all of humanity as being interconnected.
Everyone wants happiness as the ultimate goal in life. You cannot find this anywhere except within. That’s a hard reality to grasp because there are so many temptations outside of ourselves that tempt us to find happiness without rather than within (see the movie Wolf of Wall Street).
If for a moment you could be out of your body and looking at yourself through someone else’s eyes, would you like to see yourself wallowing in self-pity, harming yourself with destructive emotions, behaviors, drugs, etc? Does having a large appetite make you feel any less hungry when you eat more? No billionaire is happy with just one billion dollars.
If you look at yourself through a loved one’s eyes, they would want you to look after yourself, cherish your good qualities and try not to focus on your weaknesses. They want you to reach your highest potential, whatever that may be.
It doesn’t mean wealth, or being super smart or holding the fastest land speed record. It means to be fulfilled; to have reached that point where you know yourself in the fullest sense, warts and all, and attaining contentment.
Some of the most content people on the planet own very little, and the little they have they’d happily give it away if you needed it. But that’s the thing about happiness. It’s one of the few commodities on this planet that grows the more you spread it around.
The love of self means you should not eat junk food, not have junk thought or do junk behavior. This does not mean you can’t have fun. It just means if you respect others and don’t want to hurt them, you should do the same for yourself.
We have but this life, this day, to be what we are. If today is taken ‘care’ of, our future is taken care of.
Be careless about the past. Too many people regret the past or worry about the future, so they are disrespecting the only precious time they have left; today.
If this was your last day one Earth wouldn’t you want it to be a celebration of love with loved ones including yourself?