There is this trend in our society to declare, that we do not care about anything anymore. And to be honest, I have participated in this. And it does make sense. We assume the worst in everyone. We assume, we will get hurt. But if we do not care, we cannot be hurt, right? Obviously not. Because what happens is, that we feed into our hatred for ourselves. We naturally care. Because we are passionate. And because we do care, we end up hating ourselves, because we don’t even manage to not care. But this is not the worst part of it. there are so many things, capable to bring us joy, if we choose to not care about them, we will end up in a cold, joyless world, left with nothing but pain.
There is nothing wrong with caring for things. Caring about our health, our relationships, our hobbies and our work. Because after all we have the right to care about our lives. We don’t have to numb ourselves towards everything around us, just in order to not get hurt. Because our dependence on our hobbies and relationships may hurt us, but not caring about those things at all will hurt us more in the long run.
Why is that? Why do I claim that we inherently want to care? What do I know? Well, it is not just about caring. It is very much about a purpose. And about a direction. It is about individualism and self-identification. We all intuitively know, that what we do and how we think, defines who we are. And that is exactly how caring defines who we are. Which is, why we should never blindly care about something. Which is, why there needs to be research in order for us to be sure about something. But we all need to care. Because we all need a goal. Because we all need something that is worth fighting for.
Here is what may happen, if we do not care. We isolate ourselves from everyone around us, which will hurt us, because no one can live depending only on oneself. But we will ignore that hurt, because we decided to not care about those people that we pushed away. The pain will grow, but will will keep choosing not to care. But there is also nothing else, that we can focus on. We end up trying to focus on identifying ourselves as the person, who is cold and does not care.
Someone said, we should not drink a whole bottle of our favorite high volume percent alcohol? Oh well, we do not care. And with not caring we damage ourselves. But we don’t care about whether or not we damage ourselves or not. And we end up in addictions or self-harm. But we don’t really care, but now we have the perfect way to identify ourselves with not caring.
I know this is harsh. I know it is scary to care. It is scary to just be ourselves, because it is so much easier to desperately try to not care. But not caring and the constant need to prove how much we do not care is so damaging to us. Yes, we may get hurt, if we start fighting for our hobbies. Yes we may run into people who judge us for taking care of ourselves. But I think we should rather take care of ourselves, than end up hurting ourselves, just because we are afraid, what people think of us.
Why do we despise ourselves for caring? Why do we feel, if we start caring about things, we loose our independence? Because we don’t unless we let someone else choose what we are supposed to care for. Choosing what we care for means choosing who we are. And it is power. It is like a woman choosing to be cute and kind. She may have dreaded that her whole life, because she has always feared that being cute may be viewed as being immature. Or weak. When frankly that is a decision entirely up to her. And the world envies women who make the choice to be cute and beautiful, rather than badass. Because there is an undeniable appeal to someone embracing who they want to be, despite of their fears.
There is a distinct appeal to someone choosing to care. Because it is well known how much strength it takes to make that step. We don’t end up vulnerable when we care. I have wondered for too long why I was fascinated so much by all those protagonists in books and movies. I knew my life was perfect but I could not get rid of the feeling that it was not as good as those protagonists’ lives. But why? Because no matter the heart-ship and pain and confusion those characters were undergoing, they were always motivated. By hate, by pain or by love. Those are strong emotions. Emotions, that we are not able to use to our advantage unless we care. Yes, we can hate ourselves for caring, but that will only destroy us.
Caring for something can also help us, to stop feeling uncomfortable with it. I have experienced that myself. I used to hate my feet and find them very ugly. At some point I started caring for them. Nothing fancy. Just taking a little time every other week to put some polish onto my toenails. And guess what: I don’t hate my feet anymore.
So when we hate our bodies, we can start battling that hate, by caring for it. There are so many ways of caring for your body. My favorites are applying body lotions and peelings. But there is also water intake and nutrition and exercise. Understand that taking care of yourself is the polar opposite of engaging in self-harm (with exercise potentially being an exception to this). And that is, why it helps to get more in tune with ourselves. It helps to not hate our bodies so much. And for me the next step always is to take care of things mentally. Be it my blog, my studies or the stories, I want to be writing. This can also be the people around us. Our family. Our pets. Caring for and about them will decrease our level of aggression, will give us a purpose and will define who we are.
I like the thought of being able to define who I am. It is work. But it is so much better than being at the mercy of my own hatred.