The Foundational Importance of Loving Yourself
By Nate Malchow–
Ever since a young age, many of us have been told to “believe in yourself”. You may remember the show, The Little Engine that Could? As he climbed to the top of the mountain he said to himself, “I think I can, I think I can” and made it.
This may seem silly and elementary but it is foundationally important to trust, believe and love yourself. This Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, and before you find yourself running around to get gifts for others, self-resolve would be beneficial to attain first. I’m not saying you shouldn’t show support and love for those around you. All I am saying is that before you can adequately go about any social activity there needs to be a level of calm with one’s self.
Eastern cultures such as India place a special role on meditation as a means of attaining physical, emotional, and mental balance. Other cultures and religions have their own way of coming to inner peace but the concept is the same. Whether taking a brisk morning walk through the woods helps you attain peace, or writing in a journal, or even calling up an old friend and discussing life, making time to find inner happiness and self-confidence will greatly benefit each of us.
Perhaps think back to someone you knew was continually put themselves in an abusive relationship because they didn’t know how to be alone or they had their prior emotions stream back in and overtake. When you take time to find your personal goals and know exactly what you believe in and what you do not, it is much easier to not be swayed by others or manipulative persons. Think back to that someone. Perhaps if they had taken some time to enjoy their alone time and realized that the person they were dating was acting contradictory to their personal morals and principles, then they may have left the abusive relationship sooner. However, according to Kohlberg’s Moral Developmental Stages, it is only once we reach the Post Conventional Stage that we can truly internalize our moral and legal principles to help protect ourselves and all members of society.
Having said all of this, I am only pulling from the experiences I have encountered and my limited knowledge of the world and sense of self. Also I have only lived in the USA, so my cultural influence has been a self-sustaining one. Collectivist cultures, like the majority of the world, foster interdependence so they may feel differently about this issue. What do you think?