“Love yourself”, they say. A single sentence that triggers so much in me. “I don’t want to be selfish. I don’t want to be arrogant. I don’t want to put myself above others.”
– These are all socially shaped concepts with which I do not want to identify. Then a realization: loving myself does not mean putting myself above others. But to finally see myself as an equal. Not only understanding and feeling compassion for everyone else, but also for myself.
Self-love has little to do with pushing the traits I’m proud of. It’s way more about hugging the qualities I’m ashamed of.
Seeing that whole part of me that I’ve learned to classify as “too much” as “just right.”
Embracing the whole part that makes me human because it thinks so much, feels so much. To tell myself that I’m good the way I am. A quote appears in the sea of thoughts; “Don’t compare your insides to the outsides of others”. Oh.
Maybe the arrogant, and the ones that appear overly self-loving, are just like me. They simply learned a different coping mechanism. Where I make myself smaller, they fluff up.
Then another realization; loving myself makes me love everyone else, too. Because if I admit to myself my doubts, my weaknesses, and accept them as a part of me, then I can do the same with everyone else.
And no, self-love is not pleasant.
It shakes me out of my comfort zone, into open dialogue – including the conflict zone.
Standing up and say, “I need this because it’s important to me. Because it makes me feel safe.” And take the risk that the other person doesn’t want or need things that way.
Risking rejection but gaining a previously unknown level of integrity. Where no more explanations are needed on the outside, but only inner clarity and communication of this clarity.
If you wish to strengthen your ability to love yourself, here’s a little exercise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRaboJjzE5Y&t=5s