Does loving the self seems alien, selfish or narcissistic? If so, I can show you a healthier perspective.
I was born with selfish instincts and so were you. Makes sense then, we were born this way for a reason. We enjoy pursuing our interests and follow our talents, feelings, instincts and desires into activities we enjoy. In fact pursuing our own wellbeing is our moral purpose. I believe loving the self is a wholesome and benevolent way to approach life. Assuming responsibility for our own happiness makes us expansive, kind, thoughtful, connected, more productive, creative and loving.
With self love, we essentially flip the script. We don’t have hang ups and inhibitions and know we are worthy of good things, and fit for purpose. Chasing our dreams and enjoying healthy relationships with others is the norm. We look after our mental and physical health by eating well, exercising, taking some risks, and finding work life balance.
When we are not centred in the self, we lose connection to our essence. Loss of this connection creates fear and the need to control outer circumstances. This makes life complicated, because we need outer conditions to please us, in order to feel happy and stable. However this is an impossible task and the further away from our essence we become the harder it gets. The further from our essence we become, the less able we are to see our way back. When inner pain becomes unbearable we defensively project it onto others to create relief.
These defences shift responsibility from one person to another (often unconsciously) and make relating complicated. Being unfairly blamed causes upset, confusion and backlash. When we are defensive we perceive others as attacking. When two people are disconnected from themselves misunderstandings can escalate fast, because subconscious programming is added to the mix. Navigating a persons’ defence mechanisms can be frustrating if that person is especially disconnected from self. Disconnection from self creates pain, fear, constriction, low energy, physical, emptiness and mental health problems.
It’s necessary to tune out the requirements of others more in order to maintain healthy self differentiation. Thankfully this doesn’t mean we become heartless and exploitative. Ironically the more self differentiated we are the easier it is to connect with others. When there is less overlap and merge we don’t lose ourselves as readily. This is because we know who we are, what we want, and are too busy going after it.
Procrastination is a bi-product of disconnection from self, because we have so much inner resistance caused by subconscious programming, otherwise known as the inner critic. This leads to self doubt and self sabotage. Not loving the self causes extreme loneliness, emptiness and a feeling of disconnection from life.
People who dehumanise themselves unfortunately dehumanise others. Dehumanisation is disconnection from independent thought and feeling, which is where empathy and unconditional love come from. When we are disconnected from self, we are also disconnected from the awareness of our behaviour towards others, because we don’t experience it as part of ourselves. Generally those who dehumanise others have themselves been mistreated and are stuck in an unconscious systemic cycle. We are unable to seek help when we are unaware we even need it. Seeing ourselves as faultless, we project our shortcomings onto others. Loss of self is therefore the main cause of psychopathology. This results in maladaptive behaviours, cPTSD, nightmares, knee jerk reactions, lawless behaviour, chronic anxiety and depression.
Connection to self gives us empathy and compassion, which makes it easier to connect with and trust others. There is no need to keep people at arm’s length to stay safe, because we know they don’t hold power over us. We do not require others to be anything other than they are, because our happiness and stability comes from within. We have the ability to re-align and choose the direction our life is going when we don’t like our current circumstances. To move past this problem it is necessary to re-programme the subconscious mind by being mindful of feelings and choosing love over fear.