The Covid-19 virus has taught human being multiple lessons such as health care system of a nation, family life, introvert and extrovert human nature, physical and virtual world, global market chain, leadership, social distancing, physical intimacy and global solidarity. Crisis always teaches human beings the lessons; of political, social, economical or psychological sort. Staying at home during lockdown due to Covid-19 Virus, I realized the importance of love to self, and its strength to live with compassion.
When the term ‘love’ comes into mind, we generally think of a beautiful couple, a mother putting all efforts to her children, a father bearing all possible responsibilities of family and so on. Love means many things and everything, however we often forget to think about ‘self-love’ which is highly essential in life for peace and prosperity. Nepolean Bonapart, a man full of glory, power, riches said to Saint Helena Keller “I have never known six happy days in my life”, while Keller, blind, deaf, dumb declared “I have found life so beautiful”. This reflects that winning the world and loving other people is easier than winning and loving oneself. The toughest battle in this world is winning self. It is the fact that our sensory organs control the mind, so we continue crying over the split milk, worry for the future, and continue counting the stars in present. We forget that life becomes happier, simpler and lighter when we start loving ourself. An angry man, as Confusios says is a poisnous. We never want to be posion to ourselves and to others.
According to oxford dictionary self-love means the feeling that your own happiness and wishes are important. Hinduism explains self-love means feeling worthy of happiness. In order to achive this, one has to give value to the life. Hinduism explains we can love our life when we take care of our mental and physical well-being, become consistent on our thoughts and actions, uproot envy, fight against resentment, refuse abuses, be thankful to everyday and for every accoumplishments. It is also true that we can’t love our enemies, but we can love oursleves as much as we want. Let’s love self so much that we don’t permit our enemies to control our happiness.
Loving self here does not mean hating others, rather it means more love and care to others. A well known author Dane Pearce says, “People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.” Here is an example when we see our dearest and nearest’s post on social media making a tour in a beautiful country, we feel jealousy secretly. It’s not our fault, its feeling of insecurity indeed. However, once we start loving our ‘self’, our level of secret jealousy might be low. It is because a self-lover search the joy within self. Loving self means more inner peace, stability and less self-sabotage.
Some people might be attention seeker, some might enjoy gossiping or some might attack from the back because neither they love themselves nor others. They just love showing off the things and proclaim of being a smart, an intellectual and a generous one. But the person who loves self respect others because they know the value of self. Loving to self means accepting the strength, weakness, loopholes or setbacks of self and the others as well, which eventually pushes an individual forward as an uphill battle. It is what a wise man can do. Take an example when Devdatta, a cousin of Gautam Buddha, asked for pardon of his all time sabotages against Buddha, Buddha calmly says, ‘I do not remember any of your setbacks against me’. It is the finest example how a wise man forgive his life-time saboteur. And we know Buddha always taught self-esteem and realization.
Everybody on the earth deserves love, compassion and pardon and if we don’t do it for ourselves first who else will do it for us! That’s what Buddha delivered. People can hurt us anytime when their expectation remains unfulfilled leaving us hopeless, frightened and destroyed. The nervous breakdown sometimes ends the life too. Thus, we should understand and value ourselves first for the everlasting joy and happiness. It is never a selfish act, instead an act to understand the gift of universe. Bhagavat Gita enunciates that the soul of human being is the parcel of the universe or the God. Therefore, it is our prime responsibility to love and take care of God’s gift inherent within us.
Falling in love with self means as Andrew Matthews says, “a healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.” The freedom, joy, and confidence in life become unprecedented as Louise L. Hay says, “you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” Critisizing self does not solve the problems. So start loving self right now to avoid the tensions of hustle and bustle of the world.
We can start loving ourselves by doing yoga and meditation, doing regular exercise, having healthy diet, reading books, praying to God (if you are a beleiver) and spending quality time with family. We can cope with the crisis and trauma easily and happily. Being lockdown at home for more than two months with my little family in Kathmandu, watching people infected and died of Covid-19 in large number and thinking of possible outcome of the endemic, I learned that tensions do not solve the problems. The self love technique not only keeps us relaxed but also hopeful to the future. It’s a global crisis, so requires a global solidarity. However, every positive individual has the responisbility of making situation the better to some extent.