The culture demands you to elevate your status above that of others.
In an isolated world, in a world where we no longer know the name of our neighbour, we are increasingly reminded of the importance of self-love.
To love yourself above and beyond all things
It’s become a war cry, this expectation we are asked to place upon our self, as if it’s the single greatest virtue we can aspire to.
If anything, self-love, in many ways can have the opposite affect,
Reinforcing pride and narcissism whilst isolating yourself further as you begin to reflect it by simply starting to put your needs above the needs of others.
By separating yourself from the source of Love itself, assuming Love is somehow self generating.
As if the culture isn’t individualistic enough.
The very concept of the individual was never meant to be devoid of your role in the broader context of family and community.
Not knowing the name of your neighbour goes against your very nature, the very nature that makes us all human and able to connect.
Traditionally, if you flourished, your community also flourished and vice versa.
That’s not to say you should neglect yourself, but rather better understand that ‘the self’ cannot be divorced from everyone and everything else.
The goal then shouldn’t be self-love, but rather Love, period.
It shouldn’t be directed, towards yourself or others per se, but rather be all encompassing.
To live with Love and have that expressed in everything you are, say and do.
That includes Love for the self, but also Love for others.
When asked , what is the greatest commandment, the reply was simply:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself...”
Although quickly discarded as a dogmatic piece of scripture, I believe the passage taken on it’s own merit, gets it just about right.
That is, loving yourself should be directly correlated to your ability to love others – a perfect harmony between the two.
You should not love others more than you love yourself, but in the same token, you should only love yourself for as much as you’re able to love others.
This then envelops you in a sea of Love, with all the natural waves that come with it; back to the natural order of things.
For when you’re floating in a sea of Love, your only concern should simply be to shed everything weighing you down, only then finding yourself always rising to the surface.