There is an awful epidemic seizing the minds of everyone who walks this earth. It is a disease that seems to destroy confidence. It is so deadly, people find themselves alone in a room full of laughter. The consciences of these very same people scream, “Booooo!” whenever they take a shot in life. It is sad to think that life is pummeling people’s self-esteem to the point where people despise themselves. Today, the mindsets of the human population are plagued with self-doubt and self-fulfilling sorrow. People don't love themselves, and I hope we can all see this as a tragedy needing a resolution, because never mind liking yourself when you never felt loved.
I identify with the problem of not loving myself at times. This feeling has existed for some time, but I am working on finding a vaccine and a cure. At a point, I didn’t understand what it meant to accept yourself for who you are. I didn’t know the meaning of acknowledging your flaws and working on them. This led to me searching for acceptance and validity in different places and other people. What is worse than being alone? The answer is feeling alone. Who are children supposed to look up to, when we look down on ourselves?
We feel our sorrows more than a message from the church. We listen to the deep voice from within, telling us we cannot push on, while our pastor is telling us to practice what he preaches. Your conscience is your own grim reaper that greets you with a devilish grin. The only ‘ballin’ in life you participate in is crying, and your tears are reminiscent of raindrops from the proverbial black cloud. You can see the pain vividly, and happiness is a dull lightbulb. You pray people see the winner in you and hope the loser brings out the best in you. Your problems would not be the same if you had someone else’s life. It doesn’t matter, because then you would have their problems. You can have the world, but you will hand it back, because you do not know what you want. Love is the only thing you want to embrace, and you cannot even afford that for yourself. People ask themselves, “What am I doing wrong?” when they need to focus on the few things they are doing right.
The hard part is justifying that people don’t know how to love themselves anymore. I cannot tell you how or when this all started. I don’t know who the first clinically depressed person was. You don’t care who was the first; you just know you’re the last person anyone will care about. You see people happy, but for some reason, you never want to join. You color yourself bad. You limit yourself to the point where happiness is off-limits.
I have spoken to various individuals during my lifetime. There is never a time the conversation will not leave me shocked. It is less about their story, more about a real-life situation I could not imagine fighting through. Not a single person flinches when they tell their story, but I will always jump back twice in disbelief from the things I am hearing. I like to ask people questions, and far too often, these people never have answers. The most revealing question is, “Would you date yourself?” This question stumbles everyone. At first, they say, of course. Each person flaunts his or her flamboyant characteristic traits that everyone supposedly adores. Over the course of a few minutes, added with silence, their facial expression seems to overshadow their will to hide it - the fact they wouldn't date themselves. Self-doubt always shatters their confidence. I sit there staring at the person. After a few more minutes, the conversation usually sways from the topic at-hand, and we speak about something new.
From the lessons time has allowed me to learn, I have concluded I shouldn’t be asking people if they would date themselves. I should ask them whether they love themselves. I wanted to write a chapter about virility and saving the world. I wanted to write a chapter about being a hero, but apparently, people cannot cherish themselves, so how can they care about anything else. If you want to build a house, you need a firm foundation, or else, all progress from there on will be void. I remember hearing from singer JMSN, “I don’t love myself, so how can I expect somebody else to do the things that I can’t do myself.” We are afraid to love ourselves. Forget loving another person. Maybe we have been looking at the world with the wrong pair of glasses. The Bible teaches us to love our neighbor no matter what. I agree, but we were never taught to love ourselves. If we lack emotion for our own soul, how can we share the same to another. If we blame ourselves for everything, will we do the same with others? We can easily point out the flaws in other people. We can quickly state the problems of others. How often do you look in the mirror and say, “Damn (Insert Your Name), you need to relax and think straight”? Do you ever give yourself compliments, rather than judging yourself in the mirror? Do you look in it and say, “I think you’re pretty dope”? I realize it is rare for us to do that. We all carry a façade. We put on a fake mask to hide what it is truly there.
For example, I have talked to amazing women. During my interactions, I act as if I am perfect on each date. I pretend to love who I am, just so they can love me. I always tell them I like them down the road, even when I do not even like myself at the time. I never claimed to be perfect. I have a lot of issues. I never claimed to be perfect or complete for a woman, but it comes to the point where we all must look in the mirror and appreciate ourselves to a degree.
I know people who will sell themselves short. I know people who think their personality repulses the opposite gender. I know girls, who believe they deserve no good man, because of their family issues at home. Some men feel, if they cannot provide support through their money, it will exclude their chances of ever dating a woman who will love them. As good comes with evil, is there a reason doubt fails to have a yin to its yang? With doubt should come faith. Why is it that people doubt themselves, but cannot have faith in what they do? Self-doubt is related to fear. Do people know that? Are humans designed to have compassion for others and not themselves? Humans seem to have so much success in everything, except making sure they are okay.
I was watching TV one beautiful day, and Buzz Lightyear was hopping from each themed area at Disneyland, investigating the scene. In the background, numerous princesses were entertaining the children. I thought of the image a princess personifies. They are a damsel in distress, in constant need of a man to liberate her. In every story, the princess is apprehended in captivity, whether in a tower or held hostage by an evil stepmother. Sadly, the only way for her to escape is to be loved by a strange man, who will rescue her. What are we teaching little girls from the moment they lay their innocent eyes on a Disney movie? Are we teaching them they must be codependent on a man to live? Each princess is gorgeous, so why does she have such a hard time finding a man? I understand princesses are hidden from the world, like Cinderella, but finding a man seems difficult for them. Fairy tales tell us they need a man with a special prowess to him. Fairy tales tell us they need an esoteric prince that no man this day and age can live up to. Do you realize the world teaches women to be princesses saved by men who do not exist? What if each princess loved herself? Would a knight in shining armor be needed? Would a plethora of fairy tales cease to exist if a princess learned to love and save herself? These lovely women need no man who is dressed like Cap’n Crunch to save them. They need to do it themselves. The nerve of these fairy tales. I do not have a grand steed to ride and save these girls. In the words of the ghetto proverbs, I can’t save these hoes. I used to drive a 97’ Nissan Altima, comparable to Donkey from Shrek. Am I supposed to rescue a princess in that car, because these movies told her I would? The nerve. The audacity. A man should never have to save a woman. She is not leftover food for us to put foil on and put in the freezer for later.
Talented people around the world desire success. Unfortunately, they want success for the wrong reasons. Millions want success to show off and brag. They want to prove others wrong, which is the wrong step to take towards loving yourself. See what I did there? They long to show people things they do not have to boost their own ego. The problem is, jealousy focuses on others, rather than you, the one person you should be focused on. Whether you are envious or making others jealous, you are spending too much time attempting to advance in life, with others controlling your intentions. If you loved yourself, you would do everything solely for yourself and for bettering those around you. If you give love to yourself, eventually, you can reciprocate that to those around you and watch it multiply.
Vacations are the new trend for my friends who have graduated college. What are vacations? Is it a getaway from a job or school? Why do people feel the need to get away? Is it to get away from others or from their lonely version of their self? I think people travel to find out who they are. Is the purpose of finding you an analogy of loving yourself? I believe so, and if not, they are nearly synonymous with one another.
I do not have all or any answers to this plague. I only know people must love themselves to create true love in the universe. I only know that self-inflicted wounds are the new hugs. And pain might as well be a drug, because people are addicted to it. From my time on this earth, I have seen sadness overpower the will to be happy. It is almost as if being happy is a job that does not pay well. Ironically, sadness is the fun activity to bathe in for eternity. With this statement, it is almost impossible to know what we need. We should give each other more hi-fives, instead of fishing for compliments on Instagram and Facebook. Have you ever given someone a hi-five after an achievement? Even if the accomplishment is small, their self-esteem rises tremendously off a simple gesture of approval. Read and learn. Maybe part of the remedy to helping people love themselves is to show them how good they are. I understand this is hard to reach, especially when advertising screwed up the world.
Marketers have been telling people for decades, the person they are is not enough to meet the expectations of the world. The world is judging you, so you better buy this product or purchase that service. The ROI is, you will feel better, look better, and be better. Every product puts a Band-Aid on for you not loving you and accepting who you are. Ladies, you spend hours posted in front of a mirror creating a masterpiece from the earth colored pastel you dip your brushes in. Hours of make-up to cover up and look different than what you are. Wearing it cannot make-up for what is not there. I wish you could enjoy yourself the way I do. When you do not love, it feels out of place to like yourself. Even my favorite rapper uttered these words, “Nothing’s ever good enough. The baddest girl wouldn’t be good enough. So instead of being good enough. I just want to be better than good enough.”
With every word inscribed on this white sheet of paper, my visions become clearer. The only thing I know is I do not know how to convince you how to love yourself, especially if you are a pathological liar. I know possible ways it takes to achieve this goal, however. The fear of loving ourselves is the downfall of humanity. We spend so much time loving objects and vices, rather than investing that interest in ourselves. I refuse to sprinkle this page with generic phrases and sentences of love. One thing is certain; to love yourself, you must first be a courageous person. You can like the thousands of faces in various situations, but at the end of the day, who do you love. Do you love the real you or the image you give so others accept you? You can let your guard down and let others accept you for the person you are, but when was the last time you let it down for you? Have you ever faced your insecurities and rehabbed them? Do you cover your insecurities by talking to different women on the regular or put on make-up to hide your self-addressed flaws? Do you have more excuses not to enjoy yourself than reasons to accept who you are? For every broken heart, most believe they can heal the shattered pieces with something more than friendship. An old wise black man once told me, “Once you love yourself, you won’t need the love of multiple women; you will only need one.”
Vices are the multiple partners you run to in order to cover up the fact you do not love yourself. Stop trying to find answers to made up questions in your head. Let down all the preconceived notions you have of yourself and give yourself a new beginning. No more vacations. Put down all your inward baggage and move where the heart is. For once, have the best interest for yourself. God loves us for who we are, so why are you unable to love yourself for who you are? Have faith in yourself as you have faith in the Lakers winning another championship in this decade. Do not validate yourself by placing your confidence in others. Place most of your time within yourself, because you are an investment.
To love yourself is to accept who you are and what you are capable of. Remember, no love can be lost if you never created it in the first place. Grow up and love you for you.