SELF-LOVE: FAKE OR REAL?
“I LOVE MYSELF,I LOVE MYSELF, I LOVE MYSELF… AND BLAH BLAH BLAH” — millions of posts on Instagram, based on affirmations and stories on “how I started loving myself” or advices like “do this or do that to love yourself’’ have gone viral throughout past 2 years.
Is that bad? Of course not.
Self-love is a necessity nowadays, especially in the world where there are still countries with patriarchal regime, societies filled with jungian tricksters and men, following the ancient toxic-masculinity mode.
Bringing an example, without any judgement or devaluation:
“So..I’m doing sports, eating healthy food and imagine, I wake up every day at 6 am! Love it! “ — sounds impressive. But most frequently, that means (and even feels) nothing when you can’t protect your boundaries, when you’re still friends with people who make you feel “not enough”, when you buy yourself things you love only on special occasions.
INSTAGRAM: VITAL INFORMATION
“Super productive people” sharing their daily plans and achievements with thousands of followers can bring a huge dose of ambiguity to someone, who tries hard to be satisfied with himself. Insta-stories with quotes like “plans for today: clean my room, feed my cat, do groceries” are of course about simple actions made daily , devaluating which will be very silly, because 80% of our lives we spend on household. From the other perspective, most likely, some people who post such stories or publications, want to prove to the world that they are alive, they are human beings and they are at least doing something, even something very simple. The “SPD” are average people and they can also have struggles loving themselves, but that can easily be covered by such publications as “I did this or I did that”. That’s normal. All of us do something, achieve something. Everything is important, every single step (even doing groceries). Everything we do has a value and even waking up in the morning can be considered as an achievement.
All these actions are vital. But what about the information? Can we consider this information vital? Subconsciously, most of the useless information is very often stuck in one’s mind(especially in the one’s, who is working on the most important relationship: the relationship with himself), by raising the feeling of not being enough and in the worst scenario: the beginning of comparing himself to others. In this case Instagram can be considered as a psychologically dangerous space for vulnerable people, as a human’s subconsciousness absorbs any kind of information and has a significant influence on mental health.
So what is actually self-love?
Or a lifestyle?
Guess, that’s an eternal journey, set at a conscious age, which assists you to connect to the world and to the people around you, teaching them how to treat you right, how to treat you the way you want to be treated. Self-love is not only about self-respect and contemplation: it’s hidden in many unconscious behaviours, actions and words. The way you let others talk to you, the way you eat the food you love, the way you buy things that add joy to your life — that is, definitely self-love. The way you forgive yourself for eating junk food at midnight, for waking up after lunch time or for not being very productive, by letting yourself rest — is all about self-love. Asking your boss to let you leave your work earlier, because you are emotionally exhausted and your body requires healthy sleep — is self-love.
But that’s not enough. That’s not, what people, who work on loving themselves feel all the time. Self-love is not always a pleasure and is not that easy. All of those things mentioned above can be an illusion of self-love.
Yes, that’s, unfortunately, disappointing, as most of the times completing all the points of “how to love yourself” doesn’t make you feel satisfied with the result. Why? Because it is not only about the technical part. It is something you have to feel inside, deeply inside, by connecting to your inner voice, listening to your thoughts, not to the concepts based on the social beliefs and drags raised in you decades ago by your family, traditions, stereotypes and culture.
Self-love is mostly a spiritual path. It is about analysing your thinking and relationships with others, filtering out anxious thoughts and negative people around you, setting boundaries. Loving yourself is a state, in which you protect yourself and do everything to feel safe and secure.
FEELING SAFE: INFORMATION SPACE
Reading old cheesy messages, listening to nostalgic songs you used to listen with your ex-friends, scrolling accounts of people who brought negativity to your life is way too triggering. Reading daily news about COVID-19, war and other topics which suck your energy — are one of the inhibiters of the massive work on yourself, as they distract you from reality and raise the level of anxiety, which can lead to apathy and occupational burnout. Cleansing information space — is a significant mechanism, with the help of which you get a new space for new insights, new feelings and new truths about yourself.
PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY SOMETHING
Lot’s of opinions, comments, judgements — people always have something to say and no one takes the responsibility of what you can feel after reading/hearing their opinion. One of the most important things during self-love journey in social media era is : not changing the opinion about yourself after scrolling some Instagram posts, not comparing yourself to others, not comparing your day with others’, not comparing your achievements, life, relationship status and etc.
Concluding my non-professional article, I would like to ask you one thing.
YOU are important.
The pictures attached to the article belong to the Fashion Illustrator Blair Breitenstein.