I have written before about the benefits of masturbation, but more important than self pleasure is self love.
You may wonder why – with society nowadays placing so much emphasis on the “self” – I would advocate self love. Shouldn’t we put other people ahead of ourselves? Isn’t it time to be selfless rather than selfish?
Of course the answer to the above is “yes”. We do need to be selfless rather than selfish. We do need to put others ahead of ourselves. But I would argue that it is harder to be kind to others when we don’t love ourselves. Even Jesus knew this, as he said, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” I promise I won’t turn this into a religious lecture, but just look at that command and think about what is implied. Everyone always focuses on the first bit, “love your neighbour”, but you can’t leave out the second part “as yourself”. How are you going to do that if you don’t love yourself?
I know that it is not easy to love yourself. And some of us have more issues with this than others. There could be all kinds of (psychological) issues with it and I don’t want to trivialise those. But often what holds us back from self love is either a sense of guilt, or the judgement and criticism of other people.
Self love is important. It’s important to take stock of who you are and to love yourself. I get a bit annoyed by these sayings like “If you don’t love yourself, how will other people love you?” as I find them more hurtful and harmful than helpful. But really, if you look around the world, if you look at all the people you know, how are they any better than you? We’re all in this together, we’re all just making it up as we go along and we are all beautiful in our own way. And I don’t just mean our appearances. We’re all unique people who bring our own interpretation of things to the table. And we should celebrate that.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t try and improve things in your life that you are unhappy with. But you shouldn’t beat yourself up for any (imagined) flaws you have. Love yourself because of your flaws. Embrace who you are. If you want to improve or change anything, do so, but don’t beat yourself up if things don’t happen as fast as you’d like. Or if things don’t turn out the way you had hoped. And if you love yourself enough, no one will be able to make you feel bad about yourself.
So go on: love yourself. You are beautiful and unique and special and you should be proud of who you are!