“It is not love that should be depicted as blind but self love”–Voltaire
Everybody professes self- love and rightly so. After all we learn it from the cradle and the mirror. Have you noticed how happy babies are when they look at their own image? They smile at themselves, wave at their image and feel so elated. This love keeps growing with age.
As love grows out of bounds for some people, so does self-love. When care and respect for one’s own self becomes excessive, when people attempt to exalt themselves or consider themselves superior than their siblings, friends or colleagues, such a love becomes a curse for their personality.
Have you ever met such people who say:
- I like you…I dislike him…
- I want to be happy…
- I am so successful…
- I want you to work as I say…
- I would like to visit…
- My pleasure
- My contentment, my peace
- My health, my fitness
The key words are ‘I’ and ‘My’.
They underline so much of self- love that YOU and WE are completely lost. When we get immersed in self- love, we fail to see the world as it is. Our focus remains on our own feelings, our own achievements and gloating about them.
It is natural that such people get disliked as they are considered to be arrogant…with an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
“Self- love is akin to the capital vice pride, which is the beginning of all sin”-Thomas Aquinas
There is no harm in looking inwards, to discover your true self, to recognize what you want to be, to look after your needs and even luxuries but looking down on others, using them for your own benefits, disregarding their sentiments, hurting or bullying them to prove that you are better than them, smacks of narcissism.
“Since [narcissists] deep down, feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault. Since they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad.”—M. Scott Peck.
Self-love is often equated with self-esteem but when it makes you blind to your own faults and gives you an inflated ego, it is time to introspect.
As children have highly impressionable minds, they start believing what they are told. They grow up with this illusion; they start thinking highly of themselves and refuse to admit they can ever fail or they don’t have the ability to accomplish what is expected from them.
Self-love emanates from our own homes, our own overstatements and our own society. In our enthusiasm to raise perfect individuals, we overlook the fact that each child is different. Many parents keep denying that their child is a bully or behaves arrogantly till this self-love transforms into a big ego.
Even the scriptures exhort us to shed our ‘ego’:
“Remember this O’ Nanak that whosoever says ‘I AM’, he is bound down.”
“O’ ignorant man, destroy your egoistic thoughts. Still your egos, meditate on God in your heart…”—Guru Nanak
—Enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib.
“O Arjuna, surrender your ego fully unto the God. By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode.”—Sri Krishna
–Enshrined in Bhagwat Gita.
An ego is ‘EGO’…it cannot be healthy or unhealthy! Those who live in their own dominative world call it healthy.
How much you love yourself? What are the parameters that you follow to exhibit your love and authority? You can share your valuable views here.
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