The thin string between narcissism and self-love. 

Why is narcissism always called bad?

The dictionary defines it as “excessive love for oneself”, but if that’s how that is, how is it bad? True, arrogance is bad. Hubris is self-decieving. Excessive pride for oneself at the cost of looking down on others IS bad. 

But Self Love? 

How is that bad?!

Isn’t that the only thing that keeps us going?  The only fuel in a tired engine? The only lifeboat in our everyday ocean of worries, only light in the tunnel of dark thoughts, the only beacon to guide us home and away from the shadows cast by our insecurities and perhaps also, the only means for preventing self-destruction? When times call upon us to stand for our friends, shouldn’t we be the ones to stand for ourselves first? To love ourselves a little more each day?

To be the healer, crooning “fix you” to drive someone’s blues away, don’t you need to fix yourself first? Don’t you need to fix you too?!

       And why even call it narcissism?

-Narcissus was a ‘self-obsessed’ prude who checked reflections in lily ponds more than I take selfies.[ AND  YES THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CLICKING SELFIES ( Unless if that’s about the ONLY thing you do all day. That’s bad. I’d ask you to visit the doc in that case!) AND SMILING AS WIDELY AS YOU CAN IN EACH.Wide smiles are nice; Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!]

In a time where everybody is emotionally broken and suffers from the pangs of “not being good enough”, when people ask me how I always look so cheerful, I take pride in saying that I love myself enough. 

I love myself as best, as I comprehend, the meaning of that little four letter word. 

Sure, I have my blues and lows in life too. Sure, I hate myself too on some days. But that’s okay.( At least, as you’re still working on that!) My life isn’t so perfect as some may assume. But I love myself enough to keep swimming above that. Despite that. Actually a dedicated swimmer for a long part of my life, I know in terms both real and metaphorical, that the last push that gets you to the finish line, has to be from the one only your legs can kick in. That when you’re out of breath, scared or drowning in waves, the hands that reach to pull you out should be the ones starting from the ends of your shoulders. For if you don’t save yourself, how else do you expect to save the world?! 

 Self love doesn’t always make you narcissistic. And there’s a thin string that separates the two. For me that has been fragments of moments when someone said that the thing that they like the most about me is that I’m kind. Kindness, I feel, is underrated. And I strive to be, nicer, kinder each day, just as I strive to do better and become more successful on the others. It’s a continuous act of finding yourself, in trying to become what you love and loving yourself through the becoming. 

Not just on good hair days. Not when your face looks kinda nice. Not when you lose those kilos, or when you say something nice and get praised. Love for me, doesn’t operate like that. It’s not about what you say, who likes you or what you do. It’s loving yourself even in your home face and bad pyjamas, even on bad days and disappointments, when you’re embarrassed or you make some mistake that makes you hate yourself so much you never wanna see your face again!

Even then. 

Especially then!

Love is knowing there’s still hope as long as there’s still good in you and staying right beside you to help you find the way. For only in loving thus, would you love just as you’d want yourself to be loved. And if that’s not how it is, what’s the point anyway! ‘Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish, it makes you indestructible.’ 

(-things I’ll teach my children.)

People will call you things. Fools will call you names. But if someone thinks you’re narcissistic, first listen to them, then explain.It’s not the face you love, it’s not the things you do, it’s loving yourself despite all that, it’s loving yourself for you! But if you’re simple, nice and kind and they still don’t get what you mean, do no harm but take no shit. (Just throw a fat volume of dictionary their way, maybe!)  

Bask in your own summer,

Bask in your self love,

And,

‘Perhaps,

we should love ourselves so fiercely, 

that when others see us, 

they know exactly how it is to be done”

(Rudy Francisco)

   

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5 thoughts on “The thin string between narcissism and self-love. 

  1. True that self love is not bad and required before any other kind of love but Narcissism is not merely excessive self-love. Dictionary sometimes gives us the closest and that is what it is here. Narcissism is manifested as excessive self love but there is actually a lot at play under that mask. And if someone calls somebody a narcissist then comes the time for introspection. Like you said, being kind is underrated. If you love yourself and are kind to others, its OK, otherwise it probably is narcissism. Kindness becomes the deciding factor.

    By the way, you sound a lot like the little voice in my head that keeps me sane!

    Liked by 1 person

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