Power of self love

Published on Sep 08, 2004 05:56 PM IST

To know yourself, you must love yourself. For it is only when you are filled with love that you can share this gift with the world.

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PTI | ByJaya Ramesh, Lifepositive

If someone were to ask me: "What is the most difficult challenge that you've faced in your life?" I would unhesitatingly reply: "To be myself." To be oneself in all situations is often an impossible job that calls for effort, courage and brutal honesty. But, to be myself I need to know myself. And to know myself, I must love myself.

Most of us hate to describe ourselves as self-loving because we have been told that this is narcissistic. That there is an element of wantonness in admitting: "I am a wonderful person and I love myself." Years ago, steeped in unhappiness and envy, I had sourly asked Antara Kumar, a very close friend, what made her such great company. Her unabashed reply was: "When I look into the mirror, I am happy with what I see. I never allow my imperfections to neutralize what is best in me. I accept myself without conditions."

Dale Carnegie, the best-selling author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, tells the story of a woman, Edith, who, as a child, used to be sensitive, shy and overweight. She never went to parties, never had any fun and always felt that she was different and undesirable. Later, she married a man several years her senior. Her in-laws were all outgoing, poised and confident people. But that did not affect Edith's shyness.

She felt she was a failure and feared that if her husband found out the truth, it would be the end of their marriage. So, Edith put up a show of gaiety, while deep within unhappiness eroded her. One day, she overheard her mother-in-law say, referring to the secret behind her children's poise and happiness: "No matter what happened, I always insisted on my children being themselves." Almost overnight Edith changed. She began a search for herself, building on her strong points, accepting without apology her weaker points.

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