We are more prone to attack ourselves than love ourselves. That might sound like a weird statement but it’s true. Most of the time, if someone is told they need to learn to love themselves, they react badly and say something like “oh, I don’t want to be one of those people who love themselves!”. This just shows that we’ve got it all wrong and prefer to attack ourselves instead of love ourselves. It’s important that we find moments of love with attack. Let me explain.
Examples of attack
When I’m talking about attack here, I don’t mean physical attack (although it could be). I’ll give a few examples of the types of things I mean.
When we don’t accept our appearance we’re attacking ourselves. We believe we don’t look good enough and put ourselves down. Almost everyone, including supermodels, have some things about their appearance, or their body, that they don’t like and don’t want to accept. Good examples are “my nose is too big”, “I don’t like my thighs, they have cellulite!”, “I’m not pretty enough”, “I’m too fat” and “I’m too thin”. This dislike and lack of acceptance is the opposite of love.
It follows that just by putting on make-up we could be attacking ourselves. It’s often a statement that a person doesn’t like their appearance and would prefer to look differently. It’s evidence of a lack of acceptance and a lack of love.
Clothing can have the same effect when used to cover or alter parts of the a person’s body that is considered not good enough. Just by wearing certain clothes and saying “now I look acceptable” is really an attack on ourself. We’re saying we’re not acceptable until we put on these certain clothes.
Another form of attack is putting ourselves under heavy pressure to do something, and then chastising ourselves when we don’t achieve it. It’s another way of telling ourselves that we’re not good enough. It’s another way of attacking ourselves (this is something I’m particularly prone to do to myself).
When we don’t accept compliments from others it’s an almost hidden form of attack. We tend to think it’s polite to be humble and refuse or shake off compliments. But we’re really telling ourselves that we don’t deserve any compliments and it’s definitely a form of self attack.
With all these forms of attack that we find almost normal, it’s easy to imagine the need to find moments of love without attack.
Who’s fault is it?
It’s nobodies fault. There’s no need to find anybody (especially you!) to blame for this. It just is. And now it can just change.
The world we live in is setup in such a way that it’s ripe for self attack. Every person looks different. Every person has different skills. From our early school years we’ve been encouraged to compare ourselves to others, give grades to each other and classify each of us into various categories. This gets even worse as we grow older and move into the adult working world.
It’s no wonder that we compare ourselves to others and we find many things we think make us “not good enough”. Hence our self attack. We find it hard to offer ourselves love without attack.
Unless you have a perfect body, have one a gold medal at the olympic games and have completed three degrees at the same time at university before age 20, you’re not going to be as good as others in this world. Why don’t we see how pointless it is to compare ourselves to others? There’s no possible good outcome of comparison and, really, we can’t be compared anyway.
How can things change?
The first thing that we need to accept is that in all the ways that matter, all people are equally valuable. Nobody is more or less valuable than another. Now I know you’re thinking “that’s not right, certainly Mother Theresa was more valuable than me and I must be more valuable than a murderer!”, but that can’t be. All people are equally valuable.
When I say in “all the ways that matter”, I mean the things that are infinite and permanent (eternal). I mean the things that don’t change. We can’t measure a person’s worth using something that changes, simply because it changes. If you measure somebody based on the money they have in their possession, then they might be a good person one day and a bad person the next, simply depending on things like stock markets.
The only things in the world in which we live that are infinite and permanent are peace, love and joy (here I mean love in the deep sense of oneness and acceptance of every person). In fact, it can also be argued that these three things are really the same as they all come together. You can’t have one without the other two.
All people (even if it doesn’t seem like it) have the capacity within them to experience and offer peace, love and joy. That’s what makes every person invaluable. That’s what we can honour and respect in everyone, and we cannot overlook ourselves.
Every time we self attack, we’re denying our infinite value that is defined by our capacity to experience and offer peace, love and joy.
The next step
All we have to do is find a single moment of love without attack. A single moment where we acknowledge our capacity for peace, love and joy and ignore all of the temporary things of this world right in front of our eyes.
Once we find this single moment, we have achieved a great deal. Embrace it and feel it. Then just try to extend it into another moment. When we lose the moment because of the inevitable distraction from the world, no bother, just find it again at the next opportunity. Gradually our lives can become filled with love without attack.
Related Links – A moment of love without attack
- This news article from The Guardian shows how much love we have inside of us. Unfortunately, it took a terrible physical attack to bring this out in such a visible way.
- Finding the Moment of Peace