"Love thy neighbor as thyself."
At first glance, it seems simple - kind of like the golden rule - treat others as you would yourself. But therein lies the problem...
We don't love ourselves (enough).
We walk around filling ourselves with preservatives and poisons. We stay in situations that are detrimental to our well being - staying at jobs we hate, letting go of our dreams, or maintaining unhealthy relationships. We fear change, fall into complacency, and settle for less.
We don't love ourselves enough to not feed into the hype.
I don't understand the obsession with thigh gaps and the one (impossible) size only clothing line of Brandy Melville. Nor do I enjoy seeing people risk their health by tanning their hides year-round in fluorescent beds and on baby-oiled beaches. Why do we strive to buy outrageously priced clothes with someone else's name on it? Who convinced us that was cool?
Those things reflect a crisis of confidence in our society. DoSomething.org describes low self-esteem as, "A thinking disorder in which an individual views him/herself as inadequate, unlovable, and/or incompetent. Once formed, this negative view permeates every thought, producing faulty assumptions and ongoing self-defeating behavior."
Did you know that 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating. This compares to 25% of girls with high self-esteem.
Luckily, we have Colbie Caillat to do it for us...
If we don't know self-worth and self-fulfillment, how can we begin to offer or show that to others?
I suppose it can go both ways. A recent article I read called out privileged charity donors for giving useless, unwanted items away. It argued that we should not give what we can afford, but give with sacrifice. That's one end of the spectrum - NOT loving others as we do ourselves.
What about those who are self-depleted and exist in a world of ideals they are not currently wired to fulfill? I don't want to argue about materialism and such, but rather love.
Let's consciously build ourselves up. Fall in love with ourselves as we are and not as the world would have us be. Let's know we have it in us to blossom and that time will get us there if we love ourselves every step of the way. Understand process makes progress.
Let's also build up those around us. Maybe we can replenish the world with positivity - cease the raging flow of negative words, images, and behaviors that drown us. Tell someone you're proud of them and acknowledge their motivations and accomplishments. Compliment someone on their smile or their work. Reach in, reach out, reach up.
I'll leave you with this...