How do you begin to repair your life when you don’t like yourself very much? Many new age and positive affirmation gurus can often be heard saying, “How can you expect someone to love you if you don’t love yourself?” My question goes even further: How can you love yourself when you don’t even like yourself? This sets you back even further.
This question could easily be seen as the over dramatic rant of an attention seeking masochist. But it isn’t. In fact, I suspect it is the foundation of the psyche of many of my fellow human beings, whether they are consciously aware of the fact or not. It can be seen in the choices we make. The unhealthy, destructive, or abusive relationships we hold onto because we only want someone to “love” us. The lack of fulfillment we experience from our lives; career, hobbies, relationships, etc. The excess weight we can’t lose, the excuses we make when our passions are ignored. Can you recognize this in your own life?
I’ve experienced them all. Some of them I’m still experiencing. So often we are shocked by the truth we have ignored. It lashes out at us when we least expect it. Like a frightened caged animal. We do anything to feel better about ourselves. Which usually equals more poor choices made. These choices are often addicting. We make a choice, we feel better, momentarily, and then the feeling is gone. We seek to recapture that feeling with further choices that do not lead to our fulfillment. It becomes a vicious cycle. Repeated one night stands, gorging on food, spending money, drinking too much, illicit drugs, whatever your emotional drug of choice may be. The high is always followed by an even deeper low than you were catapulted from.
Sadly, I do not have the answer to loving or liking myself. I know that all I have been learning over the past year and a half is a light unto my path. Mindfulness is the key. I cannot allow the despair that I so often feel become the lock to my prison of self-loathing. Each day must be a further step to liking myself. Each day must be a choice made not to accept my further self-destructive behaviors. Let mindfulness be your guide. Allow it to give you pause long enough to make the choice that leads to your higher purpose. Each day you can learn to like one part of yourself. Each day that you can make a choice that serves your higher good is a day closer to the ultimate prize of finally liking and loving who you are.
Stop, be mindful, make the choice for your higher good; start now.