Is it selfish to love oneself? Of course it is not. It is an act of courage when you are beaten down by envy and malicious comments from others, when you feel that, sometimes, life does not treat you as you deserve or, simply, when you feel a little depressed. Loving oneself is an act of generosity because it implies forgiving our mistakes and not whipping ourselves for them, just as we would forgive a friend or a person we love. But, in addition, loving oneself is the unavoidable starting point for learning to love others without projecting our frustrations or envy onto them.
However, love for oneself cannot be understood in an absolutist way because loving oneself is not synonymous with imposing oneself above the rest. Sometimes, in this so individualistic current that we are witnessing in this historical moment, we forget that love for oneself is not and should not be to the detriment of others.
The fact is that this happens, partly as a result of an individualistic society whose greatest exponent is the selfie, for instance. We witness daily acts of pure egocentrism in which it seems that others do not matter. What prevails is pure hedonism, the culture of enjoyment, having fun without looking at the consequences. With the pandemic, these behaviors seem to have become more acute, although perhaps it is only that they have become more visible. The lack of solidarity, the imposition of our criteria or our well-being on others is nothing more than an unprecedented stupidity that results in a worsening of the quality of life for everyone. We question everything because we believe ourselves to be in possession of the truth, since I and I alone seem to be what matters. And yet, I must insist on the fact that love for oneself begins with love for others, for the other, who is different from me and who, therefore, teaches me that my truth is not the only and immovable one.
When you love yourself, you want the good of all. It’s like a boomerang effect, where the good you project ends up coming back. COVID 19 is shouting it out loud: as long as each and every human being is not immunized, the virus will not stop. It is not that I am free and, for example, I am lucky enough to have access to a vaccine. In the long run, as long as there are so many people who are not as lucky, it will put everyone at risk because the virus will mutate again and continue to travel around the world.
Love yourself but don’t forget to love others. Only in this way, love will be pure.
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