I’d like to start this post off with a simple question.
Do you think you know how to self-love?
No, I do not mean narcissistic self-love. (I am better than thou art ever wilt be kind of self-love.) No, that’s disgusting and absolutely not what i’m referring to. This self love that i’m talking about, is something i’ve observed that is lacking in so many young people nowadays, particularly the girls. (I usually really hate to generalise, but has been something i’ve really observed over the years.) Why do I say this? You don’t normally hear the guys going around telling their mates that they feel particularly inferior or uglier or dumber than others do you? Well i’m not saying its not possible, it absolutely is possible and actually, I believe with a much higher prevalence than what it used to be before, due to many reasons that will have to be a post for another day.
Why do I say the younger generation of today’s day and age do not know how to self-love enough? So many reasons.. where do I start?
I’ve have had more than one close girl friend tell me that she doesn’t feel enough. That she doesn’t feel pretty enough, skinny enough. These friends do not normally hub about such issues, but when you go deep and have serious conversations (esp with a lil help from liquid courage 😉), it all comes crashing out. And once its out, it just keeps coming. Their inner thoughts, insecurities, failings and basically anything that they feel is subpar compared to other people.
I had an ex who used to tell me this on more than one occasion when things got a lil bit overwhelming- ‘Paul, I can’t stop loving others, even at the expense of hurting myself. I don’t know how to do it. I just can’t’. Now, I have no issue with the first phrase of not being able to stop loving others. Because I totally agree with that, we should always try our best to shower love and provide others with support when it is so desperately needed. Yes, that is absolutely what we should all aim to do!! But what happens when it come at a cost? The cost and expense of your health, be it emotional, mental, physical or spiritual? When is enough going to be enough? When do you stop? Its a very fine line, one that is easy to cross. When and how do you decide to keep holding on, or when to say “I’m sorry, this is something you will have to learn how to settle on your own, and i’m really sorry, but I can’t do it anymore.”?
This brings me to my next point. Learning how to say no. This point here, is such a big and major point that I even considered writing a whole post dedicated to this. Being able to say NO and reject people at times, is something that most people have problem with doing, rather than saying YES. It takes maturity to pluck up the courage to tell the other party, “I’m sorry, No. I can’t do it.” (Obviously there are exceptions and some people may find it easy to reject others too.) But MOST of us, especially the younger ones, we do not know how to say no. We say yes even when we know we are over-committing. We say yes even when we know it is going to come at a cost that we wouldn’t normally like to pay. We say yes even when we know it is going to hurt ourselves or others close to us. Why? All because we don’t know how to say no. There are so many various reasons as to why we don’t know how to say no. I used to struggle with this issue all the time. Trust me, I totally understand the pressures and ‘reasons’ why. I’m still learning how to say NO to be honest with you guys. Sometimes the pressure to say yes is just so overwhelming and you end up just saying yes just to be relieved of it. Sometimes the word ‘Okay’ just comes out before I know it and its too late to back out of the shit we’ve just gotten into. Sometimes you don’t want to disappoint the other party. You want them to have a good impression of you and thats totally understandable. What my ex had an problem was that she couldn’t bring herself to say no because she was too self-sacrificial and giving. I’m not saying its a negative trait. Its a fantastic thing to have, but too much of it.. and it ends up self-destructive. Not only to yourself, but everyone else around you who cares. At the end of the day, I guess the main question we all have to ask ourselves is, is it worth it? Is saying yes worth everything else and all the sacrifices that we have to make just because we don’t know how to say no? If you and other people around you are fine with it, thats cool. But then what happens when its not? Then it becomes a problem isn’t it?.. not just for yourself but for others around you too.
Learning to say NO takes practice. It isn’t going to come overnight. Its a skill like any other that requires conscious effort and working upon.
But anyway, i’m digressing again. Back to my original point of self-love…
How do you know that you know how to self-love? Here are some points that you may consider and ask yourself, am I doing these things? (Obviously, it isn’t exhaustive and I have probably missed out on many others, but i’ll try my best to bring out the main ones)
- You know how to stop others from overstepping their boundaries into yours.
- You know how to say no when things get too much.
- You know how to bring/love yourself back up after you’ve faced a particularly trying period of giving too much.
- You don’t suffer from emotional/mental burnouts and crashes very often.
- You’re fairly emotionally/mentally stable day to day.
- You find yourself questioning yourself in your head, asking why they do such things to themselves, even when they know what expense it is going to be at.
- Your friends come to you for advice and help.
- You generally take good care of your health. (E.g. eating well, sleeping enough, exercising consistently etc.)
- You can generally think logically and fairly unbiased even when its painful/tough. (Mind over Heart.
- You are able to suffer acute pain (short term severe pain) rather than chronic pain (long term pain; not necessarily any less painful). E.g. Disinfecting your wound (painful!) rather than ignoring it till you can’t (still painful). Or.. Cutting things off with a toxic relationship and keeping to it (extremely painful!!) rather than dragging things on and off.. refusing to let go even though you know things are going to have the same result but you refuse to face it (even more painful!!!!!). Well, what i’m just trying to say is that you are able to bring yourself to do what others generally find themselves struggling to do and keep to it because you know that things will be better in the long run if only you are able to suffer the short term pain right now. (Short term is a relative to everyone, but is always shorter than long term when you drag things on without having a clean cut.)
- You are able to make and accept jokes from others at your own expense.
- You are able to be vulnerable and willing to open up and share your dark shadows with others when needed.
We could all do with learning how to love ourselves more. We are not inadequate, neither are we insufficient for others. If you ever think this way of yourself, trust me when I say that you are not alone, but rather, just a normal, vulnerable human being who is trying to figure out who they truly are, and what their purpose in life is.
I hope today’s post has been helpful. These issues are very dear to my heart, and I hope it has been able to help you (like a mirror), to identify vulnerabilities we all have. Only when we are aware of what they are, are we able to work and improve on them.
Quote of the day:
She remembered who she was, and the game changed.
– Lalah Deliah