Practicing the art of self-love
It’s time for us all to practice a bit of self-love. No, nothing rude. Or lashings of back-slapping faux positivity. But balance, in how you view yourself and evaluate what goes on around you.
Not sure where to begin? Vicky has broken down some of the theories of Carl Jung and how to work them into your day-to-day life.
Jung was the founder of analytical psychology. He divided our “psyche” ie our mind into three parts; the conscious, the personal and collective. He believed the goal of life was for each of us to realise the self.
What he meant by this was, we all have different aspects to our personality and that all of these aspects needed to be expressed equally.
Think about working at a 9-5 desk job, like a lot of us. But then, in your spare time you paint or write music. Your day job might not be a creatively stimulating one, however, you enjoy expressing your creativity.
Jung did not want us to allow these expressions to be confined by gender or the fixed notions of good/bad. For instance, the notion that only women like baking and men like DIY or feeling like a bad person because you dislike something/someone.
How to apply it
You might be thinking, “That’s all well and good but how does this help me?” We’ve laid out a few actions that you can take to incorporate Jung’s philosophy into your life. Or, as the gang from American Hussle say, “From the feet up!”
Stop beating yourself up
Can’t stand the person in the office that everyone else likes? Had *gasp* a white bread sandwich for lunch? Don’t mentally torture yourself over it. In the grand scheme of your life, these things do not matter and will only stress you out.
All of us have got a bit of freak in us. Embrace it instead of running from it. Just because everyone you know has started jogging or is learning a new language as part of their resolutions doesn’t mean you have to. None of us are perfect but we all need to learn to be a bit more loving to ourselves.
Think of the negative things you say to yourself “You’re so stupid”, “God, you need to lose weight”, “What are you doing with your life, you’re screwing up”. Ask yourself, if you would ever say these things to your best friend?
Nope, didn’t think so. So, why are you being so mean to yourself?
Acknowledge the “dark side”
Before you ask, George Lucas did get that actual phrase from Carl Jung (they were mates back in the day). While we might not have “the force”, all of us individually and collectively have a dark side. The elements of our lives that we don’t like or want and the dark thinking we can all experience.
Jung did not believe that the solution to this problem was to suppress this aspect of us or pretend it didn’t exist. He wanted us to acknowledge it so we could understand ourselves better.
Work it out
We all have dark days and experience negative thinking. But it’s when you keep this side to your self that Jung believed you could harm yourself. So, if you’re having a bad day, express that. If you’re feeling angry or sad or just worn out , express that too in a way you feel comfortable.
Exploring Jung’s theories in more detail, you’ll see importance placed on creating a balance within one’s self. While he explores the concept more widely than this, Jung was talking about our need to manage conflicting emotions and opposition in our day-to-day life.
By learning to manage our emotions and evaluate ourselves, and the world around us rationally, we create a balance. Jung once said, “We have become rich in knowledge but poor in wisdom”.
Balancing your mind is not about learning new things or being the smartest person in the room. It’s about applying the wisdom you have to trying matters in your life.
Things to try you
The bus was late. Someone spilled coffee on you. By the time you get to where you were going, you feel ready to punch somebody. You’re agitated because your mind isn’t balanced.
A balanced mind would acknowledge the irritation of these things occurring, but is not consumed and worn out by their feelings. The balanced mind knows this situation will not have a lasting harm on one’s self and tomorrow will probably be a better day.
By recognising your emotions and evaluating circumstances logically, you create a balance in your mind that enables you to deal with stressful events, in a way that’s good for yourself.