I’m mindfully ending my sabbatical a day early. I’ll tell you more about it soon. I realized a lot of things about my work, especially the digital aspect of it, and there are many wonderful things in store for you– for the both of us 🙂
Also, this post was supposed to “air” last Tuesday. Figures that the Universe doesn’t even want me to publish an automated post when I’m on sabbatical. Figures. 😉
I’m stoked to bring you this interview with David Cain of Raptitude. As I’ve told him, his writing on Raptitude enraptures me. I pay rapt attention to his work. In fact, I believe it would even inspire velociraptors.
Okay, I’m done.
This is the FIRST interview I’ve ever run on cynosure, and that’s because I truly think David and his ideas are awesome.
(In fact, trivia time: his post The One Ingredient Necessary for Accepting Yourself was a big inspiration for the post What Loving Yourself Really Means.
And I may have an eensy bit of a crush on him. Just a bit. ;))
You write about the fact that you used to be dissatisfied with your life– and yourself. What made you decide to change? How did you learn to change your attitude and actions, especially in the way you treated yourself?
I couldn’t bear my life the way it was. Something had to change, and I felt like I had zero power over the external world, so I ended up reading as much as I could about self-help and spirituality and philosophy, looking for what I could do to not feel so rotten.
Pretty quickly two things became clear:
- that my struggle was not unique, that human beings are extremely prone to certain types of problems, and
- that the greatest leverage I could achieve over my quality of life was always going to be related to my attitude and worldview, and not external circumstances.
I love your idea (or truism) that “Love is action.” (In fact, it’s influenced a lot of what I do & write in the realm of loving one’s self!)
What do you personally define as loving yourself? What are the actions you define as self-love for you?
Loving yourself is doing whatever you know will put you in a better position in life, regardless of whether you feel like doing it.
Most people talk about self-love as if it amounts to how you feel about yourself. But I think this is a mistake, because our feelings towards ourselves are fickle and change constantly, and it’s impossible to feel affectionate and admiring towards yourself all the time.
It’s easy to do things for yourself when you feel good. But can you do your Tuesday morning workout when you didn’t get enough sleep and it’s absolutely the last thing you want to do? That’s self-love. I am very, very slowly getting better at it, but at least I know what it is now.
If you could send a letter to your younger, struggling self, what would you write?
It will not always be like this. What’s hard now will be easy later. Do hard things and they become easy.
What would be the first steps you’d suggest for people who want to love themselves but don’t have a clue where to start?
Read self-help, philosophy, spiritual material, inspirational material. And try what they suggest, especially if it’s something you wouldn’t normally do.
If it’s uncomfortable you know you’re on the right track.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
There’s no cure to this. There will not be a day when you’re “over it.” But there will be many days when you look back and realize how bleak things used to be and that you know you are too strong and skilled to ever end up back there.
Being human is the hardest job in the world and none of us asked for it. You can’t cure it but you can get way better at managing it.
Find David being awesome and writing about getting better at being human at Raptitude.
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