Your level of self love contributes to how you perceive yourself and the world around you. It drastically affects your experiences in this lifetime. But looking around, it can seem that many people already have a lot of self love, bordering on narcissism - and we don't want to be like that right? So where's the fine line? How do we find self love? Why is it important? And how is self love different from narcissism?
Some people comment that when a person is on a spiritual path and performing inner work, it's just an excuse to think about themselves even more than they already do. I beg to differ! This is not about being better than others, manipulating anyone, trying to get as many people as possible to look your way, or taking millions of selfies - this is about understanding and accepting the self.
Many of us have mild traumas and issues that we are carrying with us through our lives, oftentimes these are never addressed. By healing these emotional wounds, not only do we feel better in ourselves, but we can radiate that joy and happiness outward, and be better equipped to help others.
Here is a definition of narcissism from Google's search results: 'Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type'.
Now this definition sounds very little like self love. Self love is not extreme selfishness and not a grandiose view. It is more about gaining understanding and acceptance of the self. If we do not experience this, then having healthy relationships with others, functioning optimally within society, and having love for others, is made more difficult.
We aim to have love for everyone and everything because we are all ONE. So how can we do this this if we don't have love for the self? The self is also one with all creation. If, due to past experiences, you feel shameful, inadequate, unworthy or something similar, how can you have true love for the self and others? We can't in fact; we experience a disdain for the self, with constant emotions bubbling up, namely anxiety and sadness, products of these negative 'core beliefs'.
Self love is the term used for that point at which we have understood, accepted and forgiven all of the issues within us. We have re-written those subconscious core believes, and reach a point where we are free. A point where we at last feel comfortable in our own skin and are able to enjoy life to the fullest without emotional restrictions holding us back.
Here's an example, you may have low self esteem because you perceive yourself as overweight. Self love seems to be a million miles away. Does that mean you don't deserve to love yourself? Does that mean you're narcissistic and obsessed with yourself? No. If you are having trouble settling into healthy eating habits and are gaining weight, it's more than likely there are underlying emotional disturbances that require healing. These should be identified and worked upon. Each person deserves to be free from emotional turmoil.
We shouldn't feel negatively toward narcissists however, because they require love and healing. They are the way they are because of a self protection mechanism that requires them to feel superior to others, control others, get others to admire them, and more. This is all due to shortcomings within the self. These shortcomings, or emotional needs, arose due to past experiences that told them that they were not good enough or that they do not have the emotional capability to function as a whole and complete entity within society. As a result they constantly require validation from others (to draw energy from).
It is ultimately not their fault. Whatever it was, it likely started at a young age. Perhaps they were never emotionally validated and now they desperately need validation. Perhaps they were smothered with attention and that's why they require so much now. Perhaps they had no control over their environment or their decisions and so they are now attempting to gain more emotional control. Narcissism can arise as a response to many traumas as it is a way of protecting a hurt and fractured subconscious mind.
Remember that all those who seem like they care only about appearances, it's likely due to this being the social norm at this current point in the history of humanity. Apart from that, all the characteristics of a narcissist point to a need for healing. That healing is the need for inner work, fostering authentic love for the self.
Please watch the video below for more on this subject.
Self Love vs Narcissism. You're Supposed To Love Yourself, But Does That Make You A Narcissist?
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