Friday, 17 February 2017

Self-love is not Always Convenient

The matter of self-love comes up time and again. Being on any kind of healing journey requires patience and kindness towards the self. I believe that this forms the basis of a balanced relationship with others. But what does it really mean to love the self? I think it requires more than thinking positive thoughts.

The parts of ourselves that we reject are those aspects we see as weak and a hindrance. Trying to remedy it by thinking positive thoughts is merely another way of suppressing it. In this way we separate our thoughts from emotions. Dividing the self into desirable and undesirable or strong and weak does not facilitate wholeness.

It is easy to love the self when life is flowing. It is a lot trickier when one is in conflict with the world. I have asked myself if loving myself means sticking to my way when I truly think it is best even though it might be wiser to be open to feedback. My fear of lacking self-awareness is a mask for fear of isolation. Here begins inner conflict, and this is where the matter of self-love becomes complicated. Standing up for one’s convictions is one thing, but at the expense of the need to be loved it can cause more fragmentation.

Love is not always convenient. It sometimes asks us to make sacrifices or go through darkness. The same goes for self-love. It would be nice if self-love were always straightforward and asked us to favour one way above another. But in the midst of confusion there is no such clear remedy.

Self-love requires presence to all aspects of one’s being even amidst turmoil. That is the best I can come up with.