There is a saying, “ We can’t give what we don’t have”. That is so true. Think like this, if we want to help the poor by giving them donations or money, we have to have money. If we want to teach others, we have to be knowledgeable first, and so on. The same goes with love, we can’t give other people our love when we don’t love ourselves first.
It sounds easy to love ourselves but its actually not because we tend to have low self-esteem and often we admire others more than we admire ourselves. It often happens in a relationship when one party of the couple doesn’t know how to become the star of their movie. They have no love for themselves and they ended up becoming so obsessive about their partner, thinking it was love but in fact, it is obsession and jealousy.
Lack of self-love also causing us to compare ourselves with others, it can be physically or maybe we compare our achievements with them, thinking we are not good enough. Low self-esteem can be caused by childhood trauma, environment, and media. In Indonesia, what we often ask other people we haven’t seen for a long time with pick up lines, “Hey! You look more fat now!” as if it is “How are you?”, people don’t realize that it affects other people mentally, and they often take it as a joke. It can lead people to eating disorders to fit what society perception of beauty. Another thing that is also common is about skin complexion causing the young generation especially young girl to bleach their skin and sometimes they use dangerous products.
This is an important topic, but no one cares about it. Most people today still not aware of the importance of mental health, especially in developing countries. For this reason, ACT Global invited a psychologist from HIMPSMI Bali, Wiriana, S.Psi., M.Pd to give a lecture about self-love in our online class on May, 2nd 2020. She explained that there are eight kinds of love that human can experience :
The solutions that we can apply to cope with low self-esteem are for example writing a gratitude journal, positive affirmations, and meditation. We count our blessings when we write a gratitude journal, in this method, we often realized that we take many things for granted. Have you been grateful for your life today? Have you been grateful for your health today? Have you been grateful for your eyes so you can see? Have you been grateful for your hands so you can create? Have you been grateful for the air that you breathe freely? And have you been grateful today for your food that nourishes your body? Make a list of the things we grateful for will make us feel good and positive about ourselves.
Other things that we can do is to use positive affirmations by looking in the mirror, then say thank you for your body. Say thank you for your eyes, your lips, your nose, and your body. Other affirmations that we can say when we look in the mirror are for example :
We can also meditate, its good to do it when we wake up and before bed to program our minds. We can just sit down and take a deep breath or using guided meditation that we can find on YouTube. Learning philosophy like stoicism could help as well, as teaches us to detach from the outer world which is out of our control.
But it is also important to note that the way that we use to feel positive is different from a person to person according to our personality. There are three types of personalities that we know, namely: extrovert, introvert and ambivert that we can check in https://ideas.ted.com/quiz-are-you-an-extrovert-introvert-or-ambivert/
Writing a gratitude journal and meditate work best with introvert people, while for an extrovert, singing might help. Just do what makes you happy, sing until your heart is content, and let your inner child out. An ambivert is between both.
To conclude the lesson, Miss Ana also gave us a book recommendation, “Cacing dan Kotoran Kesayangannya” and she also recommended a movie, “A Beautiful Mind”.