The biggest drawback of the society we live in is that here loving ourselves is considered a selfish act. We expect a teacher to be a master of the subject he is teaching. Unless he is good at what he teaches, how can he expect his students to excel? But, we fail to understand that we cannot love others unless we are in love with ourselves. Will you accept the preaching of an outright alcoholic on how to quit alcohol? We can never give what we do not have. Then how can we give love to the others, if we do not love ourselves? Strangely, right from our childhood, we are groomed to believe that we can love everything- but ourselves. Isn’t this hypocrisy?
Even if we break the shackles of societal impositions, we are at loggerheads with our own selves to love ourselves. We can love ourselves only when we get a job. We can love ourselves only when we earn a handsome pay package. We can love ourselves only when we clear an examination. We can love ourselves only when we have a Mercedes. Yes, we put so many conditions on ourselves before we even think of loving ourselves. And we expect people to love us unconditionally! If they do not do so, they are so selfish! Unless you can love yourself unconditionally, it is foolish to expect people to love you without a condition or two.
Love is a way to discover new attributes and appreciate those. Once you discover new dimensions in yourself and start respecting those, you are actually in the process of loving yourself. In fact, the more you are in love with yourself, the more hidden qualities you find in your personality and the better a person you are to contribute to society. Your willingness to wrestle with the demons inside you will only let the angels residing within you sing the song of a meaningful life.
Life is all about keeping your wrongs behind and moving on to a greater zone of possibilities. Life is embracing new waves, new ideas and purging the negatives. So, the best way you can love yourself is forgiving yourself. Forgive the little acts of yourself which are not approved by your conscience and placate your mind to proceed to a greater goal of life. Once you are able to forgive yourself, you are at peace with yourself. You can see the brighter sides in you and simultaneously the world appears brighter as well. A man without having the broadness to forgive himself can never be merciful to others and has every chance to be paranoid. Every good man on earth has his bad days. Every wonderful human might have made bad choices. After all, we all are human beings, not machines. Our bad choices do not make us bad. But how we overcome our choices, our dark days, and bounce back shining will define who we are.
A drunkard had a habit of messing up things whenever he boozed more than his limitations. Things were turning out to be beyond control. His relations with his family soured. His reputation as an efficient worker was diminishing. His kids started being scared of him. And he gradually started feeling depression, so much so that he was on the verge of surrendering to his low self-esteem and bidding adieu to this beautiful world. Once he got up very early, still regretful of having done things in a wrong way throughout his life. He looked outside the windows. The sky was becoming clear. Birds were chirping. The world was waking up to welcome a better day. And he asked himself- what for he is living? To give in to the vices? Or to start afresh a new voyage of looking at life differently. He suddenly found that he has at least one virtue. He can write very well. So he sat with his laptop and started writing whatever he was feeling. With little passage of time, he discovered that his general knowledge was not that poor, as he was recollecting all the information required for whatever he was writing. Soon he discovered that even his typing speed was excellent. And as the process of self-discovery went on, he started forgiving himself and embraced the virtues he possessed and committed to excel at those. He gradually controlled his drinking patterns. His relationships started improving. His talents gradually overshadowed his paranoia. In a year, he was the author of the bestselling book of the year.
The finest thing with loving yourself is that your dependence on how others feel about you lessens. Most of the time, it is seen that the cardinal reason behind one’s depression is worrying about how others are feeling. You have no control over how others feel about you. Then why to run after the wild goose which can never be tamed? The expectation from others builds a shield around our own self and the wall is so thick that we remain blind to our own beauty. Our math teacher says that I’m bad at math. Does she ever care to discover how good we can be at drawings? It’s this worry about what others are thinking about our weaknesses make us forget the skills we are masters of. And once we start disapproving ourselves, we start disapproving the world. Once we start accepting ourselves, embracing ourselves, the world also starts reciprocating.
Mostly, we succumb to the pressure built up around us by those who do not want us to excel in life. We always tend to worry about what others are thinking about us. Know your worth! Let those who give a fig to you go to the trash. They will be happy only when you start giving any importance to what they feel about you. Once you start feeling pained to know what they actually think about you, you are also becoming like one of them. A loser. Do you want that? Appreciate being yourself. Respect your own planet. Decide very carefully whom you will allow residing on your planet. Consider quality over quantity. And you will realize your worth soon.
Very often we start our day while we see ourselves for the first time in the day in the mirror is with the expectations that we need to be perfect. We need to look like a Greek God or Goddess. We need to talk like Humphrey Bogart. We need to play like Sachin Tendulkar. We need to pose like Barack Obama. And in the process, what we neglect is the unique identity we all have. It’s craving for attention. It wants to come out with all its good offerings. It may not be as handsome as Brad Pitt. It may not be as gorgeous as Audrey Hepburn. It may not be an athlete like Usain Bolt. But it’s ‘me’, it’s ‘us’ after all and it’s not that bad.