“The ego mind both professes its desire for love and does everything possible to repel it, or if it gets here anyway, to sabotage it. That is why dealing with issues like control, anger, and neediness is the most important work in preparing ourselves for love.” -Marianne Williamson
Self-love is a very common topic you will find on most self-development or self-help forums. The power and value of a genuine self-love is inestimable. Yet I believe there is a danger of being too shallow on this point of genuine self-love, which is the corner stone to building a satisfying, happy and fulfilling life.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. I love myself…”
The hurried mindset of our day- the belief that we are racing against time and others causes too many of us to just skim the surface of self-love and hurry on to other things. Later down the line, we find ourselves stuck again in the same limiting beliefs, frustrating circumstances, and a deep rooted unhappiness that we cant seem to get free of.
“Why?” we ask ourselves.
“What am I not doing? What am I doing wrong? Why do I not feel satisfied, happy or fulfilled? I have so much to be thankful for and I am thankful for what I have. Why do I still have this gnawing unsatisfied feeling of sadness and disappointment? Why does life feel so futile?”
More often than not it is because genuine, unconditional self-love was not fully developed and/or maintained.
When we run ahead of ourselves and bypass the real emotional work, we replace a real genuine self-love with an inflated-ego.
Ego identities are continuously being created throughout our lives. We give parts of ourselves labels and then identify ourselves as that. Some common examples are- Mom, Cook, Entrepreneur, Good friend, Vegan…
When we have an inflated-ego, meaning, we think so high of ourselves that we see others as needing to come up to our standard of life or perception of life, we can be sure that we do not have genuine, unconditional love for ourselves.
My life coach teacher told us a personal story. His childhood home was extremely dysfunctional and he had grown up with a very low self-esteem. When he was a young adult he became a soldier to serve his country. He believed that being a soldier was a high honor. He served in this capacity faithfully for over seven years. He held himself to a very high standard and he looked down on others who did not serve their country like himself. This inflated-ego gave him a sense of self-worth. But he never was able to find true happiness and fulfillment in his service. So he finally quit. When he did so, his self-worth plummeted and in his own estimation he was now one of those loathsome people that he had looked down on for so many years. He started drinking to numb his guilt-ridden, shameful feelings. Over the next two years his drinking and self loathing worsened until he could no longer stand it. Three times he attempted to end his miserable existence. And his failed attempts only increased his sense of worthlessness. But one day someone older and wiser that had gone down a similar path, reached out a hand to help him out. He taught him how to love and accept himself outside of an ego identity. In so doing he transformed his life into something that was happy and fulfilling. This man has gone on to help thousands of others.
Too many people believe they have adequate self-love but the reality is they have only cloaked their sense of worthlessness with an identity that makes them feel important. This inflated ego identity is a conditional love. The conditions are often set so high that they have a difficult time meeting them and they spend years in a battle with their self, trying to be perfect. Anything less than the high bar they have set is met with a merciless inner-critic. The inflated ego isn’t so much concerned about their true welfare and happiness as they are about how others perceive them. They will sacrifice their comfort, happiness and personal needs and desires on the altar of this inflated ego identity that offers them a fleeting sense of self-importance.
I am not trying to make anyone feel bad about themselves in using the term “inflated ego.” The fact is, I don’t think there is hardly a person out their that escapes this. Our cultures and societies are set up to produce mass population of inflated egos. The inflated ego is actually enslaved. The authentic self is held under strict lock and key. And the only key that will release them is love- GENUINE, UNCONDITIONAL, SELF-LOVE!
I have been down my own inflated-ego path. For almost 18 years I identified myself as one of God’s saints. I invested my time, energy, health, mind and soul into being an example to the world of a sinless human being. I was enslaved to a system created by men and all that I said or did was scrutinized in their furnace of judgement. When I finally left, my entire identity was obliterated. I felt lost, alone, uncared for, unseen and worthless. The reason I felt these things is because who I was at my core had indeed been lost, alone, uncared about, unseen and considered worthless for all those years. My entire sense of worth was tied up in the inflated ego I had created, because I had failed to see my real emotional need- genuine self-love and acceptance.
When you genuinely love someone you provide them with friendship, guidance, care, validation and you value them immensely. Are you providing these for yourself?
There are no substitutes for genuine self-love that will lead to lasting happiness and fulfillment.
Any relationship you neglect will lead to separation- including the relationship with yourself.
High Vibes Life is dedicated to helping people who need to get into touch with their true, authentic-self and fall deeply and unconditionally in love.
We highly recommend you take time to do the weekly journal prompts. They will give you immeasurable insight to your extraordinary self.
And you can find connection with others on this same self-discovery path in our High Vibes Life facebook group.