11 Feb Three Lights To Illuminate Your Path To Self-Love
With Valentine’s Day festivities (if ever there was such a thing) in full swing, I take some time to ponder on the kind of love we all need, but somehow find hard to get. Self-love is beautiful, and only one who has experienced a pure moment of it will understand. We all get moments here and there, where we are at peace with ourselves, accepting of our flaws, revelling in our abilities, having a good time. With the ordained season of love upon us, and in accordance with this month’s much-loved theme: #LoveLemons, I explore the three lights needed to illuminate our paths to self-love.
The first light is Knowledge Of Truth. To understand why this is vital, we’ll take a quick detour.
Truth, in this context, can be defined as knowledge that gives you accurate information about yourself (mind and body), the world you live in (nature and society), and your place in it.
You came into this world with an empty head—forgive the crude analogy—and everything you know about the world has mostly been told to you, albeit in various forms, ranging from books, preachings, discussions, conversations, movie viewings, parental advice, etc.
To allow any thought enter your mind without a thorough analysis is dangerous; millions of lives have been lost because of this. As infants, we start our life journies by learning and gathering as much information about the world as we can, from our parents, friends, and environment. After a certain age, we are mostly done learning, having defined ourselves, the world, our place in it, and our relationship to it.
One such place to find truth is in the understanding of the human mind; how it came to be, as well as how it works. Many would argue that we are our consciousness, and whether you believe that or not, what can’t be argued–though some may try–is that whatever makes us resides inside our skulls. Hence, the first step to knowing the truth about ourselves would be to understand how the organ that houses consciousness works–the brain.
Truth can be found in different places–science, art, nature–depending on which truth you are looking for. The truth about the universe resides in science, the truth about the human condition can be found in art, the truth about other people can be found in biographies. For the purpose of self-love, science and art will suffice, and in light of that, listed below are a few books that helped me, and I hope, would help you.
- How To Be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use – Randy J Paterson (Don’t judge the book by its title.)
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari
- How Emotions Are Made – Lisa Feldman Barrett
- Letters From The Earth – Mark Twain (Short Story)
- You Are Now Less Dumb – David McRaney
- Paper Towns – John Green
- The History of The Peloponnesian War – Thucydides
- Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
- Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
But what does this knowledge do for you regarding self-love?
It makes it easy to turn on the second light, that of Acceptance. You must learn to accept yourself. Let me say it in clearer English: you must learn to accept the fuck outta yourself, flaws and all. Depending on the kind of person you are, this may just be the hardest light to turn on, but if turned on, would change your life for the better.
Acceptance is much easier when it is preceded by understanding; true understanding can only be gleaned from the knowledge of truth.
The light of Forgiveness completes the trinity. With Knowledge of truth and Acceptance already gained, forgiveness is that much easier to gain. You must learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes–of which there will be plenty–and only through this last light will you be able to ensure a future in which self-love is as natural for you to access as self-loathing.