Whenever you deal with a class of young people, you often hear language that is very self-deprecating: I am not very smart; I am fat; I am ugly; My language is very poor, to name but a few. I always caution that those ideas are your own. They are not necessarily how I see you nor does anyone else, for that matter. Beauty, intelligence, ugliness, laziness, and stupidity are all concepts that we adopt quite needlessly. Today in the Internet Age, there are so many images to compare ourselves to that it is difficult to develop one’s own concept of the self — of self-love.
It is a process, as they say. I often think, however, that to learn to dispel what you consider some of your negative traits is a far easier position to commence your adulthood than to be vain and self-deluding. The narcissistic personality (1) is fraught with many delusional attributes. One of the more self-absorbed personalities in recent history was Adolph Hitler. (2) Many conceited individuals take small triumphs in their life and then extrapolate these into something much larger and more grandiose — often with dire consequences. He emulated these qualities. Hitler’s lightning attacks on Poland and France emboldened him to take on the Soviet Union. (3) This, of course, led to his eventual defeat and destruction.
It is far more uplifting to see yourself as an empty vessel floating on the river of your personal time. What direction you take, and what qualities you learn, make it a far more interesting journey. Life’s adventure could be seen as nurturing and constructive if one so chooses. If you don’t like your body — go to a gym. If you feel that you are not very knowledgeable, get an education — go to school or travel abroad. Self-love is a learned process that can only come through experience and thoughtfulness.
How does this process begin? I believe that it begins with self-confidence. Everyone has something they are good at, they excel at. It could be as simple as being a loyal friend or a good communicator. When these attributes are utilized or repeated again and again, a level of self-respect ensues. It then begins a logical process: self-respect leads to self-confidence which naturally segues into self-love. This is not illusory self-love, it is pure. You come to the core realization that you are unique and have something special and necessary to offer the world.
The great thinker and motivator, Dr. Wayne Dyer, (4) leaves us with a thought: If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, you won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.
A closing thought: I am always deeply puzzled by the beggars, the broken, and the poor. Why are you here? Why are you like this? We are always presented with many sociological and psychological arguments. All are based on the premise that our past determines our future. This is simply not true. As long as we are conscious of this reality, we are alive, we can control how we perceive the present and dictate to the future. Many, however, are not lucid at this point — addled by drugs, alcohol, or pain — and cannot reflectively think of where to go and what to do. This excludes those with true mental illness who cannot be treated. (5) I must accept that I am sovereign and responsible for the development of me, no matter how horrific my starting point in life. Learning to love yourself is the beginning of your personal exodus, your liberation of you.
To sum up: This week, we spoke about self-love and how to achieve it.
To be noted: A Russian maxim — The riches that are in the heart cannot be stolen.
Just for fun: Henrik Chaim Goldschmidt plays “Gabriel’s Oboe”
For reflection: 9 Life Lessons From Plato (Platonic Idealism)
This week, on your grand stroll, please contemplate your own self-love and what it means to you.
Every day look for something magical and beautiful.
Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great!
Quote: I am as great as I want to be.
3) Operation Barbarossa: Hitler’s Invasion of The Soviet and Battle of Moscow – Animation
4) As you THINK, So Shall You BE! | Wayne Dyer | Top 10 Rules
5) Jordan Peterson: ‘The pursuit of happiness is a pointless goal’