“That’s generous of you” I replied, “I mean, I can never do it.”
“Yeah, to see others empathically, we need to see ourselves with care and compassion.”
I was intrigued and got closer to catch each word of what he said.
“If we inherently hate ourselves and lack self-respect, we transfer our ‘badness’ to others because that’s our ‘familiar environment’ – since to dislike and disrespect is natural to us, we now do that with others as well. Besides, if we tell sad stories to ourselves, we attract similar situations. Therefore the golden rule of emotional hygiene is: be kind to yourself and trust yourself. Then learn to see others with compassion.”
The lesson I learned from Aki that evening: there’s a child within each one of us, and for so long we’ve either neglected or hurt that poor thing. Now it’s time to love her, and that’s called Self-love!
Self- acceptance – the first step
To deal with those who either dislike you or continuously criticize you for no sound reason, you avoid them. But if you can’t dodge their malicious missiles, then your strongest arsenal is self-belief and self-acceptance. If you too hate yourself, others’ negative behavior would only intensify your suffering. So at least you need to like yourself. And stay emotionally strong with good friends and well-wishers around who give meaningful association. With this strength, you could then learn to ignore your detractors internally and even learn to forgive them or see them as victims of insecurity, fear, anger or similar emotions. The renowned German poet and novelist Hermann Hesse said, “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”
Often when people detest you, it’s because of who they are, not who you are. This thinking is a critical first step for self-preservation in a world that regularly throws up strange, unpleasant surprises. With so much uncertainty around us, the least we could keep in control is our belief systems; after all, my attitude is entirely mine and independent of who loves me or despises me for reasons I can’t fathom.
To be continued….