Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Self-Love: The Alternative to Self-Help

by Jamie Catto Mar 4, 2011
World-traveler, filmmaker, and musician, Jamie Catto, talks about how important it is to stop beating ourselves up over the way we are, and to love ourselves.

[Editor’s note: This was originally posted at Jamie’s blog here. I wanted to share this here as I think it’s a very important message that might change the way you look at things.]

I’M LEARNING THAT loving myself means not doing anything to evolve, but just doing things because they look like fun – and there may be evolution involved along the way, yes! But choosing to take actions (or workshops) or ‘work’ on a certain personal issue feels unloving to myself where I am right NOW. As if doing so is making a statement that ‘Jamie is not OK like this, we need to make changes.’

How violent that feels to me now. There are certain qualities or characteristics I have that I might have in the past said, “oh, I wish I was less like this” or “I wish I was more like that”, and I would even imagine ways that I was going to be rejected or abandoned if I didn’t get closer to perfection and improve those limiting aspects of myself.

Now I realise that Perfection is observing my own unique characteristics, weaknesses and strengths, attractions and repulsions, and allowing myself to be just like this, with no agenda for any of it to change, but just to choose the most inspiring and non-violent paths open to me to experience this unique collection of my ‘ways’ — easy and challenging — in a creative, fun, and loving life.

The whole notion of ‘working on myself’ suddenly feels unloving to Me right now. Curious. It feels like a statement of lack, of judgment that something about me should be other than it is. So, yes, I could go to a workshop or a therapist and get better at ‘dealing with my issues’, learn the triggers, analyse where they were born and how they took root. I could see the negative beliefs that got stuck there and devise techniques to get better at catching myself, saving myself from falling into those traps again…


…I could gently observe myself playing out all those issues and accept that I am a unique, freaky, sensitive, being — someone who finds certain scenarios stressful or even unbearable, and take responsibility for protecting myself, giving myself what I need when triggered, and not making myself wrong, or un-evolved for being this crazy or for avoiding certain things.

Can I love myself even if I never evolve another inch?

Ironically, I have a hunch that the second option will allow those blocks enough space to morph, even dissolve, quicker than the first option. That may be a by-product, but it’s not the aim. It feels exciting now to really let myself be possessive or materialistic, or angry or totally selfish, with full awareness and love, and not get caught in the trap of working to change or protect those around me from their judgments and reactions.

Can I love myself even if I never evolve another inch?

Paradoxically, this ‘not doing anything to evolve’, but only observing and accepting what’s there, feels like it has the potential to allow deeper, invisible, yet powerful energies in me to shift — more potential for liberation than all the self-help books and self-awareness workshops rolled into one.

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