You’re probably familiar with the idea of ‘self-love’ because of its hype on social media about self-love. But if you take a few moments to really break down the philosophy, you’ll see that the idea is inherently flawed, even (and especially) in its title. The truth? Self-love is a construct created by the ego (and some very smart online marketers). The idea that there is a ‘self’ to love, creates separation from our true ‘Self’, which is the very definition of love in its purest form.
But if you take a few moments to break down the concept, you’ll notice a few things:
- The little ‘self-love’ practices that you do, have a fleeting benefit but don’t last very long? Note this checklist as an example:
- The promises that should be delivered as a result of all of these practices don’t quite make it to the finish line? You’re never quite ‘there’?
- You’re continually justifying, feeling guilty or judging these self-love practices - ‘I should love myself more, therefore it’s okay to spend $100 on my massage’.
Whoa. I know. A big statement.
I’m not the first to point this out. The original yoga texts, in their storytelling of creation name Prakrita as the divine consciousness, pure love. Prakruti came later, as unmanifested energy that eventuated in Ahamkara, the Ego or the self.
The ego is the creator of separation, or ‘I am’. What does this mean for us in the time of social media and the most incredible selection of instagram filters? When you identify as ‘I am…’ (insert any emotion following), you are identifying with your Ego, which is separation from your truest, most divine Self (Parusha, divine consciousness).
You may very well follow something similar, and I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with the practices listed (hell, who doesn’t want a scrumptious hot bath or a sweet-as massage every week?!) But notice who you are loving when you do these things- as Eckhart Tolle beautifully noted in The Power of Now, you are loving your ‘self’ - the Ego.
The cause of all the things that create drama, stress and anxiety in your life. When you feed the Ego with ‘self-love’, you are simply riding a rollercoaster of emotion that will dive as deeply as it climbs.
There is no justification necessary to have a bath, spend X on a holiday because ‘I worked 70 hour weeks for six months’ or ‘because I need to stay young’ etc.
So while the idea sounds noble, just remember that true self-love is simple. Full acceptance of who you are (self and Self) as one divine being. When you exist fully in that space (that’s the tricky part, read more on that HERE), you are able to experience true love - love that exists for everyone, every living thing around you, including your being. You simply love.
So what’s the next actionable step? The to do list? To simply accept that you are love. And through this acceptance, show up and live in the present moment. To make the most of every moment of your divine existence in this universe and be present, releasing yourself of the egoic thoughts (guilt, justification, judgment, loathing to name a few) that we actually validate when we work towards the emptiness of ‘self-love’.
Replace I LOVE MYSELF with I AM LOVE and see what happens in your day. Everything that you do will change, and sweeping the floor becomes as enjoyable as taking a bath.
Good luck Jedi Goddess. See you on the other side!
There is nothing to prove.
You don’t need to love your-self, because you are already pure love.
“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.”
- Author-Poet Aberjhani
Confusing? I get it. Read on.