You want love. You pine. You yearn. You wish. You plead. Why can’t you be swept off your feet? Why can’t someone who makes life easier come along? What can’t your heart feel the fullness of true love?
Do really want the answer to that? Because the answer is that you choose not to fill your life with love. Your heart is full of criticism, judgment and opinion about everything and everybody—most importantly you. Why is your mind filled with that? Because that’s what you invest your consciousness on.
If I monitored your thoughts all day I would find that you thought a lot about your identity. And I would also witness you levelling all sorts of comparisons, criticisms, judgments and opinions about that identity. And you do the same thing to everyone else too. But it’s all about what you or others aren’t.
This begs the question, what are you doing at a salon? Why are you spending your hard-earned money on French nails? Why spend $150 on perfume? All of that effort and expense—and expense is really just another form of deferred effort—is to try to attract a person who will love you, and who you will love as well.
As enjoyable as they can be, our appearance is not our identity. The people we date won’t ultimately live with our labels and scents, they will live with our presence and personality. So the real question is, what kind of person are we without the products we use to beautify ourselves? And for most people who spend a large amount of time in a state of ego, we are people who beat ourselves up a lot, even when we do look good.
To an outsider our ego is like a jerk we have along for the ride. We drive down a road and you spot a bakery and our ego-buddy immediately starts telling us that we’re not fine the way we are, and how we should diet because we’re too fat and too unappealing to attract a romantic partner. Essentially we’re punished for being human.
What would these internal conversations sound like to an outsider? Your ego just called you fat. Why would someone who likes you, want to sit around and listen to their friend get berated by their own ego? Does that sound fun? Attractive? Compelling? Sheesh.
Of course the people we’re attracted to aren’t going to find it appealing that we beat ourselves up. They, like everyone else, are attracted to happy, confident people. And the difference between happy confident people and the insecure is that the former don’t beat themselves down in their thoughts; they use their minds to move their lives forward.
All this means is that a lot of what modern humans do, is we work really hard to earn money to spend on bait that cannot hope to cover up who we really are over time. Yet, we’ll put in 8-12 hours a day on acquiring camouflaging or superficially inviting bait. What else could we do with that time, money and energy?
I ask you to consider doing one simple thing to change your life, but the price may appear high from an ego’s perspective. Experiment. Forget the $400 blouses, the $2000 watches, the agonizing trips to the gym and plastic surgery. Before all of that, just trying loving yourself instead.
It’s so common it would be a revolution to just love yourself. And you can. Just stop berating yourself so that the real you can come alive. Berating ourselves only trains us to be with people who berate us. By loving ourselves, we teach ourselves how to recognize it, when truly loving behaviour is being shown towards us.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.