It's Sunita here.
I am often amazed at how indulgent the concept of Self Love seems to have become. The images and posts I see depicting Self Love are usually more about self gratification than what I have learnt about Self Love.
We are living in an age of instant visual stimuli which elicits our immediate response. Many people dream of their 'bit' going viral to capture fame and notoriety. Hence, some outlandish and sometimes outrageous presentations of a concept or idea are easily found floating around the web. In this, there is an inherent risk of simplifying and diluting a complicated issue.
Self love is the biggest challenge we face as human beings. Thinkers, philosophers, poets, saints and mere mortals have been struggling with this for centuries. Its pursuit demands that we dig deep and look at the 360 of us as a dynamic human being. And observe ourselves as far as we can see. If we are unable to see ourselves fully, we must seek the help of those who can objectively and lovingly (as much as humanly possible) give us feedback about our blind spots.
Self Love without these painful realizations and reckonings is not self love. It is a poorly drawn caricature of Self Love. It is a tepid rendering of something infinitely complex and deep.
Self Love is about loving ourselves in spite of our shortcomings as a human being. It's about finding compassion for our imperfect selves. It's about recognizing our shadow and acknowledging it's presence and accepting it as a part of who we are.
Self Love is about accepting the reality of who we are, not who we wish we were. And then, loving that version of ourselves fully.
Embracing our true selves is the most powerful staring point to become who we wish to be. Because it's a place of authenticity and truth.
It is also a place from where we find compassion for others.
Helen Keller, one of the people I admire very much said, "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." I don't know what the context is that she said these words but I would have to say that such advice will not get you to a place of Self Love.
Only facing and examining your shadow will get you there.
Once you have done that, you are welcomed into a world of Infinite Love. I know, because I have done it and now share this truth with you.
I also share my poem Permission, which is # 38 in the collection of poems in my book Stripping : My Fight to Find Me.
You can hear me recite it by clicking on this link PERMISSION and listening till 1:50 of the video.
Wishing you a week of discovery and Self Love,
With my love,
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