In the most non – narcissistic way, I do love me. And I believe everyone does. Not love me, but love themselves.
But, as wonderful it sounds, loving oneself can be hard. As I look back to what I was, and compare it to what I have become or possibly what I might become, it scares me. And there are moments of infinite cringing when I try to recall myself of the distant past. I have hated myself for many reasons. For starters, I have hated myself for wearing my heart in my sleeves. I have endured far too many heart breaks because of it, which has led to me bleeding my heart out to the people who now seem indifferent to me, all the more reason to hate myself. Then there are the movies I have repeatedly watched too many times, novels I have read and reread too many times. Although I don’t particularly consider that I have wasted my time on those movies and novels because those movies have been the friends in dark times and I have found solace in the pages of the novels in the times of difficulty. But, I have hated myself for over doing it.
I have also hated myself for being clumsy and making mistakes repeatedly as a result of it. I’m in my late teens and my mom still thinks I have not learned how to walk properly. The walls, the door knobs, the staircases all seem to have loved me indefinitely eager to embrace me whenever they can. And the list goes on. No one truly knows about my flaws more than I do. And I have gazillions of them. I have been lucky enough to have few people who love me unconditionally, while some others have loved me with certain terms and conditions. Many have made several remarks and with each condescending word that has been uttered from those mouths I have hated myself more. I have stood in front of the mirror and despised myself. My flat Mongolian nose, my Oreo (slightly dusky) complexion, my feminine behavior, my sexual orientation, I have hated my entire self; inside out. But I have also loved myself when I have been praised. Staring at the same mirror I have adored myself.
And I have realized. How could have I expected unconditional love from others, when my love towards myself was conditional. So I have forgiven everyone who had once brought me heart breaks and have learned to be grateful to those who have simply loved and adored me in all those dark moments. I see now that loving oneself is the most important love of all. Because without loving oneself, we don’t hold the capacity to love others or for that matter let others love us. And besides that, loving oneself takes courage. Loving someone else is easy, disregarding all their flaws and still loving them unconditionally comes, more often than not, naturally. But living with those same flaws and still loving oneself is another cup of tea. Deep down we all seem to have hated ourselves for our flaws for not being up to the standards of our own selves. Yes, we have set standards for ourselves, albeit the standards have been influenced by the surroundings and social settings we grow up in. We can pretend that we don’t have those but here’s a thing about lies, we can lie to everyone else but not to ourselves. Another thing about lies, despite the above statement, sometimes truth and reality hurts, so we lie to everyone, especially to ourselves.
Coming back to myself, I have chosen to love myself with all the flaws inherent in me. Because I have come to realize it’s just a choice after all. One does not fall in love, one chooses to love.