Happy Mani’s Day
Just a reminder that Of Wolves and Ravens will be the second post on Mani’s Day from now on instead of on Tyr’s Day.
The last time I wrote on the virtue of Love, I engaged the topic of love based on Robert Heinlein’s definition which is love is mutually essential happiness. I still hold with that which is why turning this idea of mutual essential happiness toward the idea of self-love is personally difficult. Because it basically amounts to the simple fact that if you do not view loving yourself as essential then you will never be happy even if you love someone else and they in return love you.
I know this from painful experience as my lack of self-love led to a lot of problems with loving others. It creates an imbalance NOT because self-love is at one end of the scale and loving others at the other end of the scale. It is actually that self-love is the central fulcrum point on which all other loves are balanced and if the fulcrum isn’t solid the rest will collapse.
To the Wolves and Ravens:
“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”
I hope that the above understanding of self-love demonstrates the need we all have for it. For me, this revelation showed why things went bad and why they also went so bad once they did. This is the difference, When your self-love is good, then you consider your love for others as trying to balance all the rest but the central love of self will not be sacrificed while doing it.
When you don’t have that, you are like a juggler that keeps taking on another object to juggle and never considers if they can handle another one. There is no self to maintain so you just keep loving others more and more until it flips to self-loathing and then you focus on that and forget you are juggling. You can’t keep all the balls in the air at that point and they start to fall until you just say ‘fuck it’ and sit down letting them crash all around you and you don’t care anymore. That’s what happened to me.
This is why I personally spend a lot of time thinking about how to love myself. Loving others comes naturally to me; loving myself is work but essential work I want to do. Taking the time to ask the simple question of ‘If I take on loving this person, will it help me love myself or hinder me loving myself? Is this love a benefit or a burden too great for me to carry?” When things are balanced, you are not juggling, but carefully considering if things between yourself and the others you love are balanced on self-love.
Rationally there is also the fact that loving others and finding that person whose happiness is essential to your own keeps you from narcism. Loving yourself at the expense of all others needs to be guarded against. Narcism is probably the basis of all evil shit in the world. Loving others is rationally necessary to keep yourself from that path, but it has to be balanced on the fulcrum of the love of self.
Balancing the love we have for others while maintaining the central fulcrum of the love of self is the issue here. We need both to be happy. Whenever I feel unhappy, I realize now either something is out of balance or my love for self has slipped.
Going back through all my discussions on love, I have to get back to the beginning idea that Love is the combination of Courage, Honor, and Truth. Love takes these and combines them into a very powerful force. A force that leads us to be happy in this world and that happiness’ essential ingredient is self-love that allows us to keep all our other loves balanced. It is this understanding of love that now guides me and so far the only issues it raises is about whether certain relationships are essential to my happiness. The most essential of these is the one with myself.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.