Creating Awareness, Excavating Authenticity, Finding Love

Evaluating Self-Love

Even though Valentine’s Day is the only day that’s dedicated to the  celebration of love, it seems we’re all focused on this subject throughout the entire month. But I think the type of love we all struggle with the most is that for the self.

The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman said in an interview, “I think everyone struggles with self-love. That’s pretty much the human condition, you know, waking up and trying to live your day in a way that you can go to sleep and feel OK about yourself.”

Even someone THAT talented, who you look at in awe, admitted to this inner burden. This is how we are all connected. No one is immune to coping with this plague.

Yet to be “in love” with ourselves almost sounds as if we’ll become narcissistic, unable to think of anything else, and romanticize our challenges away in awash of arrogance.

Actually, I think it’s time to reframe this phrase. It’s not that we want to be in love with ourselves, but it’s that we establish a value for our being, our uniqueness, and what we can and do contribute to this world.

Our sense of self-worth has to have a foundation by some denominator or else we’re always at the mercy of the external; someone else to validate our existence. In this state, we are constantly, subtly altering ourselves for specific people and circumstances which therefore, moves us further away from our authenticity, our center, and we suffer.

And by doing this, seeking that kind of acceptance or feedback, leaves us more prone to being wounded by judgment and criticism. We don’t want that.

By practicing gratitude for the gifts we’re given, we establish an appreciation for who we are. Maybe it’s looking past the obvious traits of intellect and beauty and being thankful for how loyal you are, focused, generous, determined, inventive, independent, resourceful, creative, thoughtful, kind, curious, helpful, patient, etc.

The Chinese philosopher Laozi wrote, “Because one believes in one’s self one does not try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one does not need others approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”

I hope this month all of you will find a greater realization for all of your endowments…

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