I Decided To Love Myself Before Anyone Else

I noticed that these days the term ‘narcissistic’ has been so easily used by anyone at the faintest display of self-absorption. Anyone who says “I want to love myself more” is highly likely to be thought of as such. There seems to be displaced nobility to loving others but criticism towards directing that same love inwards. We are all so obsessed with martyrdom. I think the problem is the vindication that comes with the “N” (narcissistic) word. May I suggest we use the word ‘egoistic’ instead? At least that applies to all of us; only the degree varies.

Compassion is an ever-present virtue. But how many actually knows self-compassion? I know that a lot of people, when they get hurt, beat themselves up further. I’ve been guilty of the same. After all, I am my greatest critic. Nothing disappoints me more than falling short of the standard I’ve set for myself.

But I started recognizing that in order for me to minimize the negative impact of my existence, I have to put order in the chaos happening inside me. Im good at maintaining composure on the outside so it’ll most likely not be recognizable. But it’ll be there. It’ll be happening. People who’s been through a lot of pain are so good at masking it. People who are good at masking arouses my curiosity on a high degree. Peeling the layers, removing the bandages, touching the shattered edges is something I find most interesting. But that is not something I do all the time. You shouldn’t seek to open someone’s wound without the intention of healing it. That will be very sadistic. If you cant do good, you should at least try to do no harm. “Love thy neighbor”, one of the teachings of the bible. Love oneself first then love the next person standing beside you. After all, a naked man cant offer another his shirt.

I’m not talking about romantic love. I’m talking about compassion, the kind of love that doesn’t ask for anything in return. If only we can pass it around like sandwiches in a picnic, there will probably be less hate and less suffering.

Everything points to doom these days but one can dream of a better world. I’m an eternal optimist, I think. How else can one live?