Monday, January 05, 2009

Who Do You Love?

The topic of self love was brought up in a recent conversation with a friend, and it got me thinking: Is there anyone out there who truly "loves" themselves? Does anyone even know someone who loves themselves? Therapists say we should, self-help books say we should, I tell my children that they should - but does anyone actually do it? What I'm asking is, is loving yourself really just an abstract feel-good-psychobabble goal that has no actual meaning? Could it be that humans are just naturally self-critical, and that is quite all right and we shouldn't worry about it?

Now self-pride is something else. That subject, I'm afraid, Ayn Rand hit on the nose: If you want to be proud of yourself, you have to actually do something to be proud of. The feeling is not going to come first out of thin air.

Any takers?



Ian T. said...

I reckon liking yourself is preferable, and quite difficult enough, rhough possibly easier as you get older.

Aravis said...

As a psychobabbler in the making, I would say that the only ones who love themselves as you describe are people who have narcissistic antisocial personality disorder.

I'm just happy that I like myself most of the time.

String said...

Accccccccck what a topic! In my humble opinion...(is that an oxymoron?) being critical of oneself and loving oneself are not mutually exclusive! In fact I would say criticism is a healthy aspect of 'loving' self in a non-narcissistic way. Kinda like we 'love' rose bushes with pruning shears. One can be critical with the goal of positive (another over-used word) change.

I felt the only way to really answer this question was with a comedy flash cartoon which kept me awake till the wee hours playing vividly over in my head just don't have the ability to make just yet!

Suzanne Casamento said...

I like Ian's idea of liking yourself.

But at the risk of sounding like a quack, I'm going to state that love is a behavior and that the idea of loving yourself might be more about taking care of yourself than admiring how supercool you are.

You know, stuff like being careful about what you put in your body, and exercising both your body and your mind. Treating yourself to things you love whether that's a good book, a great meal or a weekend away.

Knowing when to slow down. Knowing when to take chances. Being careful with yourself in general.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Thanks for your comment at my blog, Tony. Nothing like a strong EWE or two to keep the pastures pleasant. I agree with Suzanne on the liking yourself thing... but think that Aravis could probably write a flashy best seller debunking the love-yourself oversimplifications. (I confess that the idea of even TOLERATING myself "as is" made me nauseous
for years.)