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  Life   More Features  30 Aug 2018  Take back your power

Take back your power

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUMA VARUGHESE
Published : Aug 30, 2018, 1:05 am IST
Updated : Aug 30, 2018, 1:05 am IST

Self-love is simply the capacity to believe in yourself.

All of us have a roster of grudges against the people in our lives, and against God as well.
 All of us have a roster of grudges against the people in our lives, and against God as well.

It is important to get over the past and let go of grudges as they only harm the person holding them close to their heart, instead try to focus on self-development and improvement.

Life is not programmed to obey our every command. Nor are people. Therefore, life is dissatisfactory at best and traumatic at worst. Our psyche is delicate, and from childhood onwards, it has borne the brunt of harsh words and actions. All of us have a roster of grudges against the people in our lives, and against God as well.

These grudges cement into deep resentment that destroy and disturb not just our relationships, but our own peace of mind and eventually our health. We think of those who have hurt us much more than we think of those who love us. The record player in the mind goes on playing the same song over and over again. How your parents discriminated against you, how your classmates put you down, how your sibling stole away your boyfriend, and how your spouse has physically assaulted you. Yes, these are very painful events, and doubtless it takes time to get over it. But can you work on healing? Or are you going to spend the rest of your life in thrall to the people who treated you poorly? Are you going to let them have so much power over you that they determine your happiness, your sense of self and even your health? Does this make any sense?

Your life is trickling away, one second at a time, and unless you let these events go, you will never realise your full potential, never be happy, never be healthy. When we do not let go, it is we who suffer. Not the other.

So take back your power. How?  There are many parts to this all-important issue and I will deal with it as we go along, but the most important thing, and where it all begins, is to work on your sense of self. Increase your self-esteem. Build up your confidence. Become ongoingly competent in your engagement with life. Only this can help us build up our own power so that what others do to us will matter less.

How do we do this? We are not taught to love ourselves. For most of us that seems like an egoistic thing to do. But loving ourselves is fundamental to leading a good and noble life. Most consider self-love to be narcissistic, self-obsession. However, both these factors emerge out of a lack of self-love. Self-love is simply the capacity to believe in yourself. To trust yourself. To know that you are fundamentally good. To know that you are capable of coping with life. To know that you are worthy of the best that life can give you. To be on your own side. To be your best friend. Once you truly love yourself, you will not need others to love and approve of you. You are sufficient unto yourself. Your emotional and psychological needs will dwindle and therefore you will be able to engage with people more assertively. You will be able to protect your boundaries and fob off those who would put you down or treat you badly.

It is like having a second skin that protects you from the slings and arrows of fate.

In my next installment we will discuss how to build up your self-esteem. In the meantime, think about your relationship with yourself. Do you like yourself? Are you confident about your capacity to live life? How often do you put yourself down?

The writer is former editor-in-chief of Life Positive magazine and founder, facilitator of the Zen of Good Writing Course. Contact her at sumavarughese@gmail.com

Tags: self-love, life