How Could I Possibly Love Me?
I hit a vein expecting there to be smoke, instead what came up was gold. And unsure of what I saw, I tried to convince my mind’s eye that it wasn’t anything special. That it only glittered in the darkness, but exposed to the sunlight it’d turn into rot, be exposed for the lie that it was.
I turn it over and over in my hands, but its shape never changes. Only the side that becomes visible to my eye.
I have heard that loving yourself is a radical act. That it’s a revolutionary act.
We seem to have convinced ourselves as a society that harsh self criticism is the best vehicle of growth. What fucking horseshit.
But we also see our good and bad sides at all time. Other people can hide those bad things from us. We cannot. So there becomes this illusion that we’re somehow worse than other people - depressed, more angry, paranoid, more insecure, because all sides of us are always fully visible to ourselves.
But why ‘revolutionary’?
Maybe because love is conditional. To say that it isn’t is to say that things like unconditional rage, and unconditional sorrow exist. Love is an emotion like any other, not a permanent fixed object that I can gaze up into and be dazzled for all eternity.
So I turn my body over, examining the rotten parts. In some places I am bruised like an apple. In others I am multifaceted, shining like a beautiful chandelier made of jewels, left alone in an abandoned house to beautify the dust and empty walls. And yet in still other places I have bones sharp as knives, scars that makeup can’t cover up. I’ve been called both brilliant and beautiful. Also necrotic, disgusting, selfish, and ugly. And I see all of those things inside me, co-existing in a vibration of fear and joy, simultaneously.
But still: How can I love this? Because I can’t just reveal my good side to myself. I cannot pretend that the bad parts don’t exist. Myself sees all of myself. The good and bad. It sees the bruised flesh and the cigarette scars that I’d be able to cover up from a new lover. At least for a while. I cannot seduce myself fresh off of pheremones into accepting my flaws in a haze of heady romance, because I already understand every piece. Every facet. Doesn’t seduction require something of a fantasy? A slow unrevealing, like a present that you think is diamonds in December, and becomes mulch next July?
No, that’s probably bullshit. All seduction isn’t based on a lie. And also, love is not just pheremones and seduction. Love is not a perfect bowl that once it becomes cracked, is completely ruined. People who expect their partners to be perfect are generally unhappy and very lonely in life. Because nobody is perfect. The idea of perfection itself is a fallacy that’s based on nothing that has ever actually existed in real life. If you want to love someone and be happy you have to be determine what is a dealbreaker in the behavior of another human being and what you can live with.
Yes, I’m incredibly tough on myself, in ways that are unfair and make performance impossible. But there are still aspects of my personality that I find disgusting and abhorrent. Dishes left out on the counter I am okay with. Sometimes I sleep in too much, and I could be okay with that too. But there does exist things inside of me that I find to be “dealbreakers” because they are at their core intrinsically disgusting.
Okay, so I don’t love myself. There. Now what? What’s the problem?
Well, I’ll tell you the problem.
Really, when I look at every single problem I have, from - why am I so lazy that I’ve left my suitcase full of clothes on the couch for a week, to why do I have a chronic emptiness that I feel the need to take out on the people around me and make them suffer, seems to originate from the simple fact that I do not love myself. I don’t even much like myself.
I would argue that it’s probably impossible to achieve self-actualization without loving yourself. If you had asked me that 5 years ago I probably would’ve laughed and said it’s not a problem. But it’s become obviously and clearly a problem and everything in my life points toward that, so it’d be stupid to not think it’s an issue.
In the Poe Simulator, you create the conditions for your afterlife dependent on your perception. So you make either heaven or hell, or somewhere inbetween, by spending your entire life building its infrastructure. It’s not entirely a fantasy. It’s pretty obvious that self-hate sends you to hell.
So we have several components:
All of my problems result from me not loving myself.
Love is not unconditional.
At the same time, I cannot expect perfection from myself.
I also cannot seduce myself into believing a lie of myself
So I cannot trick myself into loving myself, but also I can’t not love myself and get anything I want out of life, with any sort of ease. It’s also very probably that it taints my love of other people, as I take my frustrations out on them.
There is only one very obvious solution to this problem that I have. And it’s to become the person that I’m okay with loving, without trickery or falsehoods (Because good luck lying to yourself, how has that worked out so far for you?)
I’ve seen little pieces of it - cracks of skylight reflected on my knees. Love, I mean.
Ways that I could let it enter my heart. So I move toward that.
Because unlike anyone else, I’m stuck with me for the time being. A wedding with no out clause. A match forged from the beginning of life. Together we live, and together we die. I am my own parent, my own child, my own confidante, my own friend, my own lover.
And I don’t want us to fail. Because we have a goal.
How would you take care of yourself if you loved yourself? How would you act? How would you relate to people that you loved? How would you feel when you failed, and when you succeeded? How would you deal with frustration and anger and rejection? What would you see when you looked in the mirror? How would you write?
How would I even breathe?
I’d have to relearn how to fucking breathe.
Because everything would be different, wouldn’t it?
Dig in the vein. Examine what you see. It might not be the shadow, billowing angry mouth, that you expected to find. It could be heaven.
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