I often tell people to take care of themselves. And people often say thanks and return the sentiment. But more often than not, it’s simply a cordial exchange of sentiments and not much more. Today, for some reason, I found myself considering what it would actually entail if we applied it to ourselves. How would we take care of ourselves if we actually did it deliberately and not just as a matter of course?
I think we would see ourselves very differently if we saw ourselves through the eyes of one that we would like to believe was truly in love with us. I think that we’re afraid to see ourselves that way because for some strange reason we seem to wait until someone else sees us in that light before we believe we’re deserving of such care and consideration. So I wondered then how I would treat myself if I were in love with me. Would I still be as reckless, or as oblivious, or would I want to indulge myself in every moment absorbing the beauty of life and the amazingly endless possibilities that await me?
When we look at others with love and affection, we unconsciously project our dreams and aspirations on them, but would adapt such goals in line with the context of the happiness we desire for them, and not our own. We feign sacrifice in the belief that their happiness is more important than ours, while ignoring that our ability to make them happy is in fact what we desire affirmation of. Nonetheless, the pursuit of their happiness becomes our mission in life, and anything that compromises that goal brings out a side of us that often surprises even ourselves.
So why then do we recede so easily in the face of the slightest obstacles that compromise the achievement of our own happiness that we need to give as a gift to ourselves? Why is it that we find it difficult to love ourselves if the love of another is absent? And so I wondered if you were truly in love with you, how would you treat yourself? How would you take care of yourself, and how reckless would you really be with your life?
There seems to be an underlying conditioning that causes us to base our self-worth on the effort that others put in to contribute towards our happiness. This underlying conditioning is what drives us towards acts of self-sabotage whilst simultaneously giving us the reasons we need to justify why we don’t deserve better, at least not until someone else says we do.
It’s all a charade. We invest in others more than we invest in ourselves because we need to believe that we’re significant only when we make a difference in someone else’s life, or when someone else needs us. And then also, that need must be overt, and more importantly, it must be a need that we want to fulfil or else it becomes a burden and not a blessing. Even the most egotistical amongst us behaves anally narcissistic because of a fear of insignificance, not because of a true belief of self-worth. The strange thing is that if we made a definite effort to truly take care of ourselves, we’d probably attract the kind of person that would truly complement our lives rather than seeking out one that completes those areas that we lack the confidence to fulfil for ourselves. It’s that cycle of need that leads to emotional dependence rather than mutual affection and respect.
The vicious circles of life plague us more than we will ever truly realise. Very few of them keep us grounded, but the vast majority keep us enslaved to our own insecurities. I’m not quite sure what the point of this post was, or if I even managed to make a meaningful point, but I suspect that somewhere in there lies a truth that will prove valuable at some point in my short life.