There are a hundred guides out there that tell us how we can achieve self-love. But it's not a matter of achieving self-love, because the love we seek is already with us, it's a matter of stop doing the things that keep us from experiencing this love.
So here is a little list which functions as a reminder once we get stuck again in those unnecessary cycles of looking to find love, when really we have never lost it and never will.
Although it claims to be a tool for #selflove, Instagram rarely works in that favor.
It is the quantity and quality that present the problems of the famous app.
Although it has the ability to be a tool to spread love and feel loved due to the instant connection to your friends and other human beings, Instagram mostly isn't used in that way and therefore disconnects us from ourselves.
Since we are constantly being presenting with an infinite amount of lifestyles, it is hard to stay connected to our own and feel like we're on the right path for ourselves. You refresh and instantly are given another flood of perceptions, lifestyles and pathways. You get lost. It gets overwhelming and puts us in a cycle.
The more we scroll, the more we disconnect from ourselves, the more we disconnect from ourselves, the more we need to scroll to feel at least a little connection, coming across a few posts that hit home.
But not only is the quantity a problem, it is also the quality, or perhaps the lack of quality.
“To capture and share the world’s moments” is the company's innocent mission statement. That does sound exciting and inspiring but Instagram has taken a life of its own.
So-called influencers who work together with companies use their profiles to present us solutions out of disconnection and dissatisfaction. As innocent as this may seem, it's basically another way of keeping us in a cycle of control. Companies want us to buy their products, and things seem reasonable being advertised by "ordinary people" (people who are only famous online). Instead of connecting to ourselves and thinking for ourselves, we are being presented with an instant fix. Buy this, do that, travel there, eat this, and then you get the Instagram worthy life. Staying connected to you and realizing that you are good enough the way you are, extraordinarily actually, becomes tricky. Realizing that the fulfillment that you seek is within you, becomes harder the further you scroll.
The fact that Instagram is mostly used by “ordinary people” works in great favor of companies that use it to promote their products and works in great disfavor to us, keeping us sneakily controlled. Through Instagram advertisement does not really seem like the advertisement we know from TV and control does not really seem like the control we know from the media and which we slowly have seem to seen through. Since we feel like we are familiar with people's personalities due to selected photographs, we don't really feel like we're being controlled, which makes it worse.
Humanity does not need more advertisement and making other people want certain things with the promise to achieve a perfect Instagram looking life and all appreciation and success, what the world needs is more authenticity, more things that are shared from the heart, so that we realize the connection we all have with one another and the world gets closer together, instead of further apart due to an ego-appreciation-driven advertising platform.
I don't want to sound like a fearsome person and I am the last girl to get into conspiracy theories (partly because there is enough obvious shit going on), I just want to point a few things out, so that we focus on connecting to ourselves. And connecting to ourselves through Instagram is possible.
Instagram does have positive aspects to it. I don't see anything wrong with posting a selfie, telling a story or arranging things in a certain way so that they look nicely, not at all. I think creating an image is art. Whether it is an image a painter paints, or an image online, as long as it makes you connect to your creative forces, it's wonderful and one way of connecting to yourself.
That being said, I encourage you to use it more for yourself and less for the purpose of combing through other people’s “lives” in order to find access to your love.
Another one to blame on the app -- Instagram develops our judgement skills. A quick like, maybe a comment but after all scrolling through. Yes, no, good body, too thick, too thin, boring, out-there, lame, interesting, funny, embarrassing, slutty. I'm guilty of being a quick judge and not a nice one either.
Since we are being presented with a 2D personality, we become so quick at judging actual people. Of course these people only present certain aspects of their persona online, yet after all these people are real and exist in real life.
I don't think it's a great character trait of us that we are developing. Maybe unconsciously, but I do believe that judging people online, makes us greater judges in real life, and by greater I mean worse.
Let's face it -- judging only pays off when we are put in a situation that requires instant reaction, otherwise judgment seems more hindering than helpful.
When last have you accepted a not so glamours life situation as yours to be in? When last have you said "Right. It is what it is." ?
Damn right, acceptance is always the key. Always. First things first. A common misconception is that people think that acceptance means giving up. They think that stop using energy and sort of shutting down and giving in to a situation means that they lost, but they don't realize that they cannot, no matter how hard they try and how much force they use, fight life.
So instead of fighting and thinking not fighting means giving up, people should learn a step in between those two extremes, which is acceptance.
I know accepting situations that are terribly unpleasing does not seem fun at all, and sometimes you want to explode and cause a fight, but acceptance or in order words, the absence of judgement is key to changing any annoying situation.
When you accept a situation, you can actually get out of it. It does sound contradictory but just imagine adding fuel to the fire. What happens? It gets bigger and burns brighter. Not necessarily a good thing, especially if you didn't even want a fire in the first place.
Of course there are situations in life that require action in order to get out of them, yet it is always easier to do that from a place of peace, instead of fiery energy. For that calm energy to arise it helps to not judge situations so much and get further into them and as a result more angry, fearful, or in general negative, but to carry out a decision from a place of calmness and acceptance.
Not only is the absence of judgement the key to changing a situation, the water for the fire, but I believe it's the key to a radical life. Imagine if you could lose your mind and think that you are living your dream right now? No situation is bothering you because you think that you are living your dream life.
People talk so much about living their dreams, following their goals, making shit happen, but what if the only thing that keeps you from living the life of your dreams is your thought that you are not living it? In other words, if you can accept your life as the life of your dreams, aren't you living the life of your dreams then?
Why hustle? Just chill and change your mind.
One way of thinking. Still, sure we want dreams and we want to pursue them because this is what gives us satisfaction, we don't want it all just given all at once and then have it all and live with it. We want to slowly experience it, have it step by step, bit by bit, enjoy the unfolding.
Damn us humans, we are pretty damn complicated and not easy to satisfy.
Let that little rambling of mine be a little inspiration to judge less and accept more. Know that acceptance leads to better life situations, not to worse, because when you accept life and trust its flow, you head effortlessly in the right direction.
Although it seems to be great these days to know who you are, I think it can actually get in the way of being our authentic selves and therefore in the way of our happiness.
Have you ever heard the wonderful useless advice to "just be yourself"? "Well, great, thanks, but who is this self that you tell me to be? You tell me then who I am, sir!" It seems that no one really knows but everyone puts such pressure on having a clue.
I think the pressure "to be someone" goes a long way back into history. Back in the days of kings and queens, slaves and jesters, members of the society were clearly defined. And so it is still today. Although there seems to be more variety to chose from, also going across to other cultures and grabbing definitions from there, but all in all we are still so keen on defining us. There is not a problem with definition, the only problem is the fact that we use outside terms to pin-point that magic sparkle of persona we carry inside.
What's your job? Are you married? Do you have kids? When do you want to have kids? Have you visited that country? Are you studying? What have you learned? What have you been doing all your life?
I often wanted to hide whenever I got home to Germany from my travels because as a means to define myself within this society, I did have none. No longterm job, no longterm commitment, no study course, nothing I had learned. I only surfed and traveled, which from hindsight taught me everything I needed to know, but when you feel confronted with a radical different reality, it scares the hell out of you and makes you question all your previous life choices. Life in Indonesia for example was way more freeing and I felt more alive over there, where it was okay to just surf, follow day dreams and spend time with your friends. Sure these things do not satisfy longterm but still I couldn't get my head around settling down and registering at university.
I desperately wanted to be able to define myself through a socially acknowledged way, yet this felt like putting my colorful spirit in a dusty box. I was in conflict a lot of the past 6 years, always knowing deep down in my heart that I couldn't really define myself but always wanting to be able to.
Now I am slowly finding the balance. I do care less about what others think about me and not being able to say I am successful doing this specific thing. I find it rather exciting to not know where I'll go and be thrilled by facing the unknown.
Being back in Germany, I did actually pick up a study course, in psychological astrology, however I still feel like keeping a good amount of space in my life to not only let my soul breath but also to let this inner part of me define who the outer part becomes. I think this is pure magic and what life is truly about.
I think when it finally comes together, your past will make all the sense. It's usually like that. When you're right in situations you cannot see their value, but moving along a few years, or months only, even just weeks sometimes, things become crystal clear. This means that we are always exactly where we need to be.
Having that in mind we can't really define ourselves anyway because life is constantly evolving, and instead of being stuck in thinking we are only this kind of person who always does that, we should move with life and enjoy the possibilities that life offers an open mind.
I know it is really hard in society to not define yourself and be like "Oh you know, I'm just a bundle of energy really.", but when you're alone know that you are more than your definitions of yourself. You are more than one thing, more than your job and more than your relationship status. The person you are did not exist ever before and will not exist ever again. Keep that in mind to not fall victim to comparisons to others. You are special and worth all of your dreams and all of the love in the world. The power is with you. Inside. Always accessible whenever you want. Stay connected.