Why do so many people get self-love wrong?
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room; self-love is NOT narcism. I tend to agree with Robert Greene’s spectrum of narcism. For a good read, check out his book The Laws of Human Nature here. If you want a brief overview of what he writes on narcissism in the book here are some quick links with good summaries to check out at the bottom of the article.
Now let’s dive a little into narcissism here.
The truth is that we are all narcissists to some degree. We are all born with the urge to think of ourselves first, and we all have a craving for attention.
We feel alive when people look at us and actually see us. But the reality is that there is only so much attention to go around. And we usually crave more attention than we get.
The solution of our brilliant bodies and minds is to create an ego that validates us from the inside. Often we think of this as our self-esteem which begins to form early on in life up until ages 2-5.
Narcism only reaches the troubling end of the spectrum when our sense of self fails to develop. This can happen for any number of reasons, but we won’t go down that rabbit hole.
The result is a person who has a void inside of them. An emptiness instead of a sense of self, and it is this void that continually craves attention in order to feel satisfied with ourselves. We often see this play out as them developing expertise at gaining attention, appearing exciting to be around, or retreating to a fantasy life and holding on to the belief they are superior to others. (Social media anyone?)
Narcissism is the opposite of self-love. Self-love is about understanding, accepting, and finding an unconditional love for ourselves to take care of ourselves and empower our path to finding our greatest self. Sound familiar? We defined that as spirituality here.
Spirituality is the path and choice to mindfully with discipline, face the challenges of life, to grow and evolve into our best selves continuously. Read more here.
So the path of spiritual growth is self-love, i.e., it is the path to do the unnatural, find the self-discipline to delay gratification, accept responsibility for our lives and choices, dedicate ourselves to the truth, and find and maintain a balance throughout the process.
Are you ready to start loving yourself? Then begin to take care of yourself. Don’t hit the snooze button. Find reasons to be grateful every day, eat healthy, go outside and move, meditate, and find all the reasons you are terrific, and yes, you are lovable.
A good article on narcissism summarizing his book is here.
A good short YouTube by Robert Greene