Personal Essay: Why I Didn't Love Myself
About a few week ago, after watching a chat show interview of these three famous actor siblings, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t love myself. It started with the thought that the way these people were talking about themselves was something I could never do. I could never express myself or acknowledge my achievements or good parts in such an appreciative way. This question then escalated to why? And then circled around to , “How’s that possible?!” Because if I look back on my to life, I’d discover that I was probably the most selfish person in the entirety of human history.
I had always saved myself in situations or always thought to give myself the best of everything. I had never fretted a minute from believing I deserve anything less than anyone, be it Oprah. Then, how was this possible? I was following all the guidelines of “self-love”.
I didn’t know what to do, so I talked about this to a few of my classmates who I believed loved themselves. You can always point out people who loved themselves from a crowd. They have that energy, zest and utter confidence- notice them when they walk it’s like they’re moving to music.
Anyway, I never explained to my mates if this was my situation or not, I simply asked, “How do you love yourself?” They looked at me as if I have told them I didn’t know my ABCs. They couldn’t explain much because according to them it was an ‘in the mind thing’ but I realised I was becoming more and more clear of myself and this equation as I talked more about it.
I realised- now you may disagree- my problem was like the relationship of a parent and an unloved child. More Specifically, not an unloved child exactly but an unknown child or the child you have but have no connection with or do not know a penny about. Of course you know what they ate in the morning or who their friends are but you don’t how they liked their food or what kind of a people the are. You job is to get the food on the table and give cake to their friends on their birthday. I didn’t know what kind of a person I was or who I am? Me (the parent, in this situation) didn’t know who I (the child) was but am still working night and day to give myself the best because I am my responsibility. In other words, “I am only doing this for my kid because he/she is my kid, I don’t know anything about him but he’s mine and I have to live with him until I have to live him so, why not give my child the best?’
So it can be said that I only gave myself first priority because I have responsibility to myself. I cannot switch my personality, my past and my present, the person who I am or my body with somebody else’s. I have to take care of myself because I have no other choice, I’m stuck with myself till death do us part. It’s not like tomorrow I can wake up and be like, “Today I will be Nandani with her past, her personality, her memories, her nature and her body.” The world doesn’t work like that, I’m locked up in what I have. So, I work with what I have.
I take care of myself only because I have to, I gave myself all these things because I have to provide myself with the best things. I save myself in situations because I have to stay with this brain, memories, nature, personality, etc. for a long time. I do it because I have no choice, the repercussions will only pain me- it’s not out of love.
Another way to see this is, these things I live with- personality, past, memories, etc is my own land. Like I’m a farmer and this is my land. For eg: this personality I live with is my own land, I know I will have to live with it till hell do us part. Some people always show their personality as men ature or serious even though they are not. Why? Because they subconsciously know that they will have to live with their land for long and they want everyone looking inside to be throwing good comments at it. if you did something meaninglessly wrong you still give reasons to make it logistically wrong or reasons to back up the wrong, to make yourself a little less responsible of the crime.
Anyways, the problem is: I’m the farmer who is cultivating the land only because I have a right on it or because I have no choice- I get a living out of it, not because I want it to be nourished and explore more aspects of itself to growing in divinity.
Moving on, I have to say that, from all the answers I got on how to love myself, one definitely stood out. This friend said, “to love yourself you have to talk to yourself.”
It was true about love- even with two different people. You only decide to like a person when you have talked to them and you only decide to love them when have complete faith or trust in them.
I didn’t know if I even liked myself because I didn’t hear what the inner me ever was saying. I was even doubting if it can even speak to me. if we never talked, how could I have had trust in a motionless dead object?
Luckily, I had an almost-forgotten past experiences of talking to myself. I remember giving instructions to myself or this voice talking to me, criticising me when I did wrong or telling me what to do. I clearly remember it how ironically telling me, this one fine day I spent watching television morning to night,“How nicely you had mapped out your day! So much adventure! I’m so proud of you for being so creative!”
But where was that voice gone? That person in books- ‘my inner goddess’ and ‘soul voice’. Why wasn’t my inner voice calling me? How have I managed to block her? The questions were all bubbling up, so I started with with what you do when you meet someone new, when you want to speak or converse with. At first it was not there. I was trying really hard to make it converse but each time I began prompting it, something would happen and in a few minutes I would find myself swimming in the pond of some faraway random thought. I feared I had killed my inner voice. But then I realised it was clogged down in some corner of my mind due to the abundance and mountainous unsolicited thoughts. Apparently I had everything but myself in the thinking box. Hence, I tried to quieten down the white fog of thoughts, mediated to make them peer out of my nostrils. I don’t know if served the purpose effectively but it definitely helped me not to stagger off from my motive. It made me efficiently focus on a single thing. And When I thought my head had space enough.
I began again
“Hey! I’m Agampreet Kalra. Who are you?”
“Weren’t you supposed to have completed your history project yesterday?”
And that’s how it started.
Of course this inner voice is a suggestion or notification in the head, but for starters at least it’s talking to me or giving me instructions. Maybe if I talk to it enough I can seep back into the world of myself. I can gain my trust and live the life of a confident and complete person.
Not knowing myself hadn’t exactly been amazing. For starters, I didn’t have trust in myself because I didn’t know myself and that led to problems like stage fright, constantly fidgeting, getting self-conscious in the most pathetic ways, etc.
I’m healing, I know. I have blocked that voice out— I still don’t know how but it’s back now, in small whispers but at least now I have a lamp to give me directions through the dark days of life. I have a companion. I am now complete.