I have struggled with the issue of loving myself for more than a decade now. Hating myself had become so default to me that when it was time for me to start loving myself, I struggled and fought but failed. Kept failing and even today cannot say I truly and fully do love myself. My biggest gripe was that I don’t deserve to love myself because just on the basics, I don’t deserve it, I’m not good enough but more than that, I keep doing things that make me hate myself further. How can I love myself when I keep doing things that make me hate myself? I said this as recently as last week after I got drunk and ruined a perfect day for friends by causing several scenes actually and being very hurtful and abusive towards someone I love and who loves me and has been there for me recently when I needed him most. I dealt with The issue of forgiving yourself and made amends but in the big picture, the issue of self-love still lingered.
It hit me on a random day where I just woke up around 4am and I realised that the belief that one can’t love themselves when they keep doing things that make em hate themselves is shallow, childish and based on the belief that only flawless or moderately flawed people deserve love. It’s easy to love lovable people. Even the bible says tells us so. Its no effort. The true measure of the depth of your heart is in your capacity to love even the lowest of beings. To accept people for being typical, human, flawed, disgusting, treacherous, exhausting, unworthy and go on to love them. So why can’t we do the same for ourselves? When really we’re our own best friend whether we like it or not. We’re stuck together as one so if we can dig deep enough inside ourselves to love those outside ourselves, to forgive them the biggest betrayals and pains they’ve caused us then why not the one we wake and sleep with. The one who’s been THERE the whole time and whose weaknesses and faults aren’t the only things that define them and we know just how deep the strengths go too. One must not use this to let themselves rest and accept that all faults are fine but just as we love others, accept them as they are but strive to help them become the best they can be, so must we do with ourselves. So must we keep ourselves even on the days when loving ourselves takes all the strength we have. No one is more worth it.
The trick though is what self-love looks like on a practical level. We know how to love friends and family, romantic partners even more. There’ve been countless works of art showing us but I don’t know how to practically love myself. I have an idea somewhat but it’s still a struggle. So I’m striving towards that and one day I’ll confidently say that I love myself. I keep myself and I’m my own best friend. Theoretically AND practically.