Painting by Neza. Year 2017
There is a saying that is common in Kinyarwanya referring to a person who loves him or herself. URIKUNDA. When someone tells you this “urikunda”, it always comes in a negative sense. You are referred to as a mean or selfish person. Most people don’t understand the importance of loving yourself; they think if you love yourself you are mean. Loving yourself is not selfish but not loving yourself you are being mean and selfish to no one else but you.
There are so many things that you won’t achieve in life if you ignore self-love. Self-love will bring you confidence; it will show you how important you are, no matter what other people will think of you. You will get to know your value, your worth and the uniqueness in you. With no self-love, there is no way other people will love you. If you don’t give love to yourself how will someone ever know to give you that love? You will also never be able to give love to another person if you don’t give it to yourself first.
Quit whatever is holding you back, and start right now, do things that make you happy, take care of yourself, and start exercising. Take care of your body, your skin, and your health. Try meditation, take a trip by yourself, go to beautiful places that you have always wanted to go, treat yourself like someone special and there you will create a solid thing in you that no one can crush. You will be your own person. It is said that the person you will spend the most time with in your life is yourself, so you better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.
Here is a beautiful poem of self-love by Charlie Chaplin
As I begin To Love Myself
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
There will never be comfort in your life, if you don’t love yourself. Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself before you fall in love with anyone else.