It’s all about loving yourself

Someone told me the other day that if you wear a t-shirt all the time, it means you don’t care about yourself. It was one of those mindless “assess your personality through your clothes” things like this. (Because that’s the best way to go about judging a person’s personality apparently.)

Does this seriously look like someone who doesn't care about herself? I look incredibly awesome. Like an anime, I've been told. B-) (Thank you Sneha.)
Does this seriously look like someone who doesn’t care about herself? I look incredibly awesome. Like an anime, I’ve been told. B-) (Thank you Sneha.)

Anyway, just because I wear tshirts and jeans and sneakers all the time, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about myself. In fact, a few people would laugh if you said “Swathi doesn’t care about herself.” I can imagine Nuvena laughing already. She is the one who gifted me a Mephobia print out to pin up on my desk. I might have mentioned it before. Mephobia is the fear of becoming so awesome that the world can’t handle it and it explodes. Or something to that effect.

Apparently, if you wear tight fitting tops and jeggings, you are narcissistic. (Or you just think you’re thin, whether you are or aren’t.)

Ok I’m not talking about clothes in this blog post. I don’t care about clothes. I care about myself. Err… I mean, I’m going to tackle the subject of loving oneself. (Adjusts glasses and clears throat.)

A lot of my friends rant to me about how disappointed with life, that they are not talented enough, that work isn’t rewarding, that people are leaving them all the time, that they are single and haven’t found boyfriends/girlfriends, that their spouses don’t give them any attention, or that they’re just lonely and sad. Actually, nobody rants directly to me because I don’t give anyone bhaav when they do all this. I usually ask them to put a sock in it, in the politest manner. So yeah, they don’t come back to me. But you know, issues like this get thrown about in friend circles, about who is depressed and who is happy and whose boyfriend is cheating on whom and whose marriage broke up. (Because we all live in Gossip Girl-like lives.)

Anyway, I think the problem with all these people is that they don’t love themselves…enough. If you love yourself, nothing can really put you down because you do everything in your own interest. Also, if you love yourself, you won’t expect anything from others, so you can keep yourself happy all the time! So there’s no scene of being sad about anything – not anything to do with other people at least. {I’m a selective misanthrope. (Coined the term myself, thank you). So I have to find my way to go about being happy when I’m surrounded by humans all the time.}

But loving yourself comes with a few clauses.

There’s a very thin line between loving yourself and being selfish. When you love yourself, you have to make sure you give others, your friends, family, etc as much love. It’s not all about you. That’s where most people go wrong and end up caring only about themselves. Don’t isolate the love. Spread it all around. Can you imagine having jam only in one corner of your bread sandwich? Ew no! Spread it evenly. That’s the right way to go about it. (Whattey metaphor I say!)

Also, you can tell from how a person expresses love for himself, whether he’s a selfish jerk, or whether he genuinely loves himself and everyone around him. At least from my experience, I understand that if a person is always speaking ill of others, dismissing others opinions and feelings, and thinks his way is the right way, then he’s taking the wrong route. He probably doesn’t love himself at all. He is probably convincing himself that at least someone loves him, because nobody really does.

The best way to go about it, is be straightforward about it. In office, when I hand over an edited copy to my editor, who reads it again and finds zero errors, I’ll say “Wow! No errors? So cool!” (There are usually at least ten errors on an edited page.) I give myself that much liberty to praise myself, simply because I know I’m good. It’s going to cause no harm, save perhaps an amused look on my editor’s face. Everyone in my office thinks I’m narcissistic. However, that isn’t the right word to use. I just love myself.

My dad is another example about how to go about it. The world knows he loves himself. He loves having pictures of himself clicked. He’ll even tell you that he’s awesome and tell us stories about him being awesome in his childhood. That’s a healthy amount of love for oneself. At the same time, he’s also the most selfless person, helping other people at the drop of a hat, sympathising with everyone. Pretty much like my mum. She doesn’t expect anything from anyone. She’s such a peaceful, fun loving person, and I’m so much like her. She has just taught me the art of happiness in the most subtle manner.

That’s the thing. You have got to learn to be self sufficient. You have got to find a way to be subtle and loud about your love for yourself. You have got to find that balance. Then you’re set.

Because if you don’t love yourself, how can you expect others to love you?

PS: If you have noticed that I used too many brackets in this blog post, it’s because I learnt this today.

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