I like to browse 9gag every night to have a little laugh to end the day. One night, I came upon this:
This stood out in the infinite scroll of memes and funny GIFS. It looked like something that belongs on Tumblr (which is pretty hilarious too – see The Best of Tumblr). And this post gave me some feels because if I were to name all the things that I love, I wouldn’t have thought of putting myself down. If I were listing people I love, I wouldn’t have thought to put my name down either.
Now I wonder why that is.
I like myself, but I can’t confidently declare that I love myself. The statement itself seems too much – too narcissistic, self-absorbed, and dramatic. It is so much easier to list off things I dislike about myself than things I love.
Negative comments can seep under our skin and stay with us. I, and many others, pay so much attention to the negatives that we let our fears and insecurities overpower our passions and substance. We reject compliments through the reason of exaggeration because we don’t believe it’s genuine, and we don’t believe it’s genuine because we don’t believe in ourselves. It is a very sad thought.
We tell ourselves that we are being realistic, not pessimistic, and that we are being modest and not destructive to our own self-worth. Yet, we beat ourselves up at night over something stupid we said months ago or a humiliating memory from our high school days – all negative experiences that should not hinder us from venturing into new experiences or relationships with others.
We harm ourselves in these ways and we don’t even notice, but we freak out when we see someone else doing it to him or herself. We wonder why our friends, family members, and significant others don’t see themselves as the great beings that they are. We question why people choose to be our friend or lover. We forgive others for their mistakes, but never allow ourselves to forget the ones we made.
This summer, I attended Taylor Swift’s Vancouver concert as part of her 1989 world tour. She said something that resonated with me and that was, “We are going to be kind to ourselves tonight, aren’t we, Vancouver?”
I always tell myself to be a kinder person because I don’t see myself as someone who is particularly compassionate or charitable. Therefore, kindness is something I always try to work on because it is something everyone can and should encompass (but we don’t). I try my best to understand people and give them the benefit of the doubt: they are having a bad day, someone hurt them in the same way before, they are just afraid, they just need time – the list of possible reasonable reasons for other people to cause me pain goes on and on. Yet, when it is late at night and I am alone with myself, I become my own worst enemy. I hurt myself with my own thoughts.
I should be kinder to myself.