Narcissus: In the World of the Self-Loathing, the Self-Loved Rule


Greek mythology tells of a young hunter, enamored with himself, obsessed with his own beauty. Driven to suicide by the sight of his own reflection.

Unknowingly he desires himself, and the one who praises is himself praised, and, while he courts, is courted, so that, equally, he inflames and burns. How often he gave his lips in vain to the deceptive pool, how often, trying to embrace the neck he could see, he plunged his arms into the water, but could not catch himself within them! What he has seen he does not understand, but what he sees he is on fire for, and the same error both seduces and deceives his eyes.

Ovid – Metamorphoses Book III (A. S. Kline’s Version)

I often wonder if Narcissus found true happiness in those last moments of embrace with himself, as the darkness consumed him.

We, as millennials, have been called the narcissist generation.

Oftentimes by “middle management” 40 and 50 somethings attempting to understand the world our generation is creating for ourselves.

We, as a generation, are redefining what it means to work, what it means to be open minded and accepting, and how to create a world we don’t despise.

But in that pursuit, we are called narcissists. Self-obsessed, self-absorbed, constantly drinking from our own reflection the water that will eventually drown us.

In our pursuit for greater meaning we have found the answers to those very questions, inside ourselves.

But as is often the case with a rebuke of any group, we run away from our labels, we run away from our own self-love in fear of being called a narcissist.

And in that running, we run into the arms of another equally powerful emotion, fear.

Many of the angry movements we see today are a result of fear. Fear of the liberals, fear of the patriarchy, fear of the Illuminati. Our fear creates hate, and from that hate we attempt to change everyone else into what we think they should be.

We get caught up in our desire to change others, we forget what we actually can change, ourselves.

To change yourself, you must love yourself.

We know this, but we are also lazy.

Change takes effort, it takes vision, it takes a level of dedication that’s slightly more than sharing the latest shocking video on Facebook, and feigning outrage with Thumbs Ups and comments.

It takes a certain level of intimacy and knowing yourself to be the person you’ve always dreamed of being.

Complacently we stand on the side lines of our own life, following the well beaten path.

We become angry.

For instead of forging a new path to live our own life, we fall back into comfort. And that desire of comfort is what makes us so self-loathing.

The hate we express towards others is only a reflection of the internal hatred we feel.

We run into the arms of some misguided life philosophy telling us to believe in changing others. And in attempting to change others, we forgot to change ourselves.

Our human actions are motivated at their deepest level by one of two emotions: Fear or Love. In truth there are only two emotions. Only two words in the language of the soul. Every human thought, every human action is based in either love or fear. 

Today choose to love yourself, become a #narcissist.

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