5/18/2011 - Self Love
The old adage goes, "You can't love another until you love yourself." I wonder what percentage of people truly and unconditionally love themselves. I will be the first to admit that I have some severe self-esteem issues, but does this cripple me to the point where I am incapable of truly experiencing love?
What does it truly mean to love yourself? I've taken any number of self-esteem quizzes, and the questions seem too basic to draw any real conclusion from. Yes, I often have quite a lot of self-loathing. Yes, I am fearful of rejection. Yes, I feel that if I don't do as well as others it means I'm an inferior person. Yes, I am afraid that I will never fulfill my true potential, and that makes me feel like a failure.
At the same time, I am very selfish in my need for love, affection and praise. I am incredibly hedonistic in that I don't tend to deny myself small things that I desire. I like to feel good. The simple fact of these few things proves that I must love myself to some extent, right?
I've done the self-help book thing. I've tried working on my self-esteem with a coach (my SO at the time). As a teenager I saw a psychologist and I'm certain that would be of no help now. I've tried to love myself in the unconditional way that I love others. I can't do it. Does this mean that I am broken forever? Does this mean that the love I feel for others is any less real?
I may be broken forever, but I don't think that this means the love I feel is any less real than the love anyone else feels. In fact, I'd go so far to say that we all have our self-esteem demons. Some are larger than others. I think it is only the most Narcissistic individual who loves themselves unconditionally always. In ways, I embrace my low self-esteem, for at least I know I won't end up being a pompous, self-righteous ass.
The Scar by China Mieville
Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
Ink by Hal Duncan
Non-WoW Blogs that I read:
Notes From The Geek Show - author Hal Duncan
rejectamentalist manifesto - author China Mieville
Neil Gaiman's Journal