They say that the worst of the deadly sins is pride. I say the most deadly sin is to not love yourself.
As is the case with most people, I sometimes have trouble loving myself. I come from a Christian background, where the cultivated trait was humility, which is really just a nice word for self-derision and selling oneself short, over pride. Now, as a non-Christian, I disagree. I say that pride is a form of self-love, and is therefore essential for survival as an adult.
Many people think that self-love is only necessary when something has gone wrong. You get sick, so you take time off work in order to rest and heal your body; go through a devastating break-up, and many people (myself included) give themselves a total makeover in order to feel better, and to show that fuck-twat what he’s missing and can never have again. But, I’ve found that loving myself is not that different from loving another.
When you love another person, you want to take care of that person and for him or her to be healthy. You’re aware of their faults and flaws, and you want to help that person work through them. You’re proud of that person’s achievements, and feel the pain of their failures just as they do. (And, if you love that person romantically, you want to have ball-slapping sex with them.)
It is not unreasonable to love yourself in the same way. The act of self-love is the act of taking care of yourself. It’s allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to identify your own flaws, to own them and to work through them. It’s letting yourself hurt when you’ve been hurt, and climbing the heights of pride when you’ve done something worthy of it. (And, yes, it’s also tending to your own physical pleasure.)
And, just like loving another person, it will become near constant. Your own well-being will always be at the back of your mind, and it will show. Like magick, you’ll start seeing more success at the things you do, and soon enough you’ll drag yourself out of the mud they call humility, leaving others to writhe among the worms and the insects.