Self-Love or Self-Hate?

Self-hatred plagues our culture. So many people at our church, school, and even the elite in pop-culture exude a drive for perfection that betrays a deep-seeded self-loathing. After reading the paragraph quoted below, I think this self-hatred that I feel and I perceive in others is rooted in misguided self-love. A love that seeks repeated personal indulgences without regard for the well-being of others.

“It is therefore of supreme importance that we consent to live not for ourselves but for others. When we do this we will be able first of all to face and accept our own limitations. As long as we secretly adore ourselves, our own deficiencies will remain to torture us with an apparent defilement. But if we live for others, we will gradually discover that no one expects us to be ‘as gods.’ We will see that we are human, like everyone else, that we all have weaknesses and deficiencies, and that these limitations of ours play a most important part in all our lives. It is because of them that we need others and others need us. We are not all weak in the same spots, and so we supplement and cmplete one another, each one making up in himself for the lack in another.”

Merton, Thomas No Man is an Island. pg. xxi