I have found in my journey towards radical self love, that it helps to have an enemy. I struggle to just shower myself with self love without first reminding myself that it is so difficult to do because there are industries out there that only profit if I hate myself.
Beauty industries lose profits if I only use makeup as an artistic expression and not because I hate my face. If I don’t fear aging, they won’t make money of the hundreds of dollars I spent on cremes trying to prevent it. If I don’t envy the faces of others they won’t profit by constantly convincing me to buy products that will change my face to match more conventional beauty.
If I don’t look in the mirror and see fat that needs to be demolished, the diet industry loses money. Sure, small-scale fitness businesses could survive promoting health and happiness, and many do, but the people at the top of those ladders get rich only if we actually hate our bodies.
The fashion industry changes by the season because it knows if we equate clothing and style with happiness then we will toss out the perfectly good clothes in our closet for the newest styles every year.
Of course, there are many people who can loves themselves and still shop fashion and makeup and fitness…but those businesses only become billion dollar industries if they encourage us to never be satisfied with what we currently see in the mirror.
When I remind myself of the way people profit off my self-hatred, it is much easier to love myself. When I can blame an enemy for the voices in my head that tell me I’m not worthy, it is a lot easier to practice self-love. When I can pose as a battle to be won against a force of evil, for some reason? I’m more likely to love myself.
It’s strange, but it’s true. And it really does work for me. When a voice pops into my head that says: Those jeans are so out of style, then I come back at the voice with anger and say, You have been programmed by an industry that makes money if I change my wardrobe every year, shut up. If I feel shame when I look at my aging skin I remind myself: The cosmetic industry makes billions off of wrinkle creams, don’t add to their profits. That doesn’t mean I don’t put on moisturizer, but I choose the stuff I can afford and I love the face I’m putting it on.
I don’t know, maybe it’s something twisted in my head that seems to be better at loving myself if I can blame an enemy for the hatred that was born in my head in the first place. Either way…it works.