Updated: Nov 10, 2021
To love myself is to treat myself as a lifetime partner.
Loving myself means...
Treat yourself and all variations of yourself as your lifetime partner.
My framework crafting results in long hours working alone. You won’t last if you easily get bored of being alone.
People of my type are indifferent to long-haul flights, let alone quarantine times. I can never be bored, as long as there’s some good music, movies, books and crafting ideas. I think I’m one of those people who gets married to themself.
Obviously, I get low or depressed sometimes and have the need to seek counsel too, but I do get the usual “You have to love yourself!”, “Love yourself more!”, “If you don’t love yourself then no-one will!” lines thrown at me. Why patronise me as a self-loather in my already vulnerable state?
At some point in time, we started to think “loving ourselves” meant treating ourselves; eating good; health and wellbeing; loving those who deserve our love, etc. You start thinking the world revolves around you, to the point where you forget you’re all alone. You forget about the highs and lows, that people make mistakes, and life itself is flawed.
By the time you realise the tragedy you’ve become, your immediate thought will be to abandon her/her. I’m sorry, but I’m not like that. You’ve got to take the good times with the bad times.
Loving yourself is like being bound by marriage. You share in the delight, sorrow, support, growth, loyalty and honesty till death do you part.
Not loving myself is...
Falling into a horror film to escape from yourself does nothing for your growth.
This brings me back to a conversation I had with a friend.
Friend: Since you’re into spiritual cleansing, don’t you have loads of ghost stories to share?
Me: The longer I’ve been doing it, the more I realise ghosts have nothing to do with it. I was listening to some friends speak on a show once, and started hearing a female voice overlapping the show hostess' voice. I asked them about it afterwards and was told the male host was doing some online research at the time, and he couldn’t hit the mute button before a pop-up ad from a pornsite appeared.
F: Why don’t you perform exorcisms? Won’t that be good for business?
M: Our problems are actually a result of humans and society. We start blaming the gods and spirits when it suits us.
F: Then do you believe in ghosts?
M: Why not? Ghosts are a form of energy too. It’s just that they’re not everything.
我成立的草藥店Hohhou Smudging，用草藥做能量淨化剛剛好五年了。坊間認知的草藥都是用來驅負能量、驅鬼驅邪、轉化情緒、總之就像魔法那樣神奇；也有人說這是心靈安慰，沒實際用途； 或有人覺得用了草藥就會變得更有靈性。
I founded my own herbal shop, Hohhou Smudging, five years ago. I use herbal remedies for spiritual cleansing. The most widely known use of herbal remedies include warding off negative energy, altering moods, and such. It almost sounds magical, and some say there’s a placebo effect happening. Some even think you become a more spiritual person from the use of it.
Let me tell you something: There are no guarantees in life, but it’s quite effective as a repellent for mosquitoes and midges.
When you understand how flora and fauna works, you begin to realise their powers and from where those cleansing properties originate. Just like a person, we are a product of our experiences. If you think that herbs don’t know what spirituality is, try asking yourself the same question.
Every herb has its own character. When it burns the scent released is a form of energy. Science tells us our sense of smell activates a signal to our brain accordingly. Purification is achieved in spiritual cleansing through contact with the smoke. The fresh scent and particles in the air can alter our emotions. These are all facts backed by science.
As to the actual part of spirituality, that we must discover through our own journey. Spirituality is not so much about flying but rather learning to walk. Nature tells us: Without strong roots, there’s no strong tree.
The lifestyle of loving myself...
Staying loyal to and being locked in a marriage with all variations of yourself.
I feel humbled to be called a “slasher”. I think the title is only a result of living an unsettled life over the years.
I became a fan of the superhero genre a few years ago. In the past, they’ve always been these shallow inconsequential gory blockbuster sci-fi flicks serving to entertain. Nowadays I look at them like books written by modern prophets, laying bare the mistakes made by humans and telling us our reality has become more fictional than the scenes we see portrayed in a fantasy world. It’s time to seek change.
In my drawings, I frequently portray my characters as superheros as a response to societal issues. We all face the same problems in life whether you are some mortal superhero or celestial deity; family feuds, single-parent families, unbearable parents, sibling rivalries, poverty, unrecognised talents, family breakdown, feelings of deceived , depression, eating disorders, the neverending list of bad guys... etc.
Even in cinema, none of these problems can be solved by simply having super powers. But in the real world, if you are willing to face and solve these problems, that power in itself will then become your super power in the future.
We are all our own superhero, and there is more than one version of it. It’s just like having different versions of ourselves in a parallel universe, where there is a classic version of yourself hidden among different variations.
It doesn't matter if you are the elected president, a prince or princess, or the kid who inherits the throne, or even a crocodile, the fact is we sometimes hurt each other and we are all burdened with guilt, or even lead a life deemed worthless by others.
But as long as you believe that there is always a glorious purpose in life, one that makes you want to be a better self, then the door to becoming a superhero will be open to you.
“We come into the world alone and we leave the same way. The time we spend in between - time spent alive, sharing, learning together… is all that makes life worth living.” - Jean Grey
Jinno Neko 神野猫 | Hong Kong
Artist @Jinno Neko
All Images Copyright ©Jinno Neko
總編輯 Editor-in-Chief: Dani Chong
執行編輯 Executive Editor: Moon Mo
助理編輯 Assistant Editor: Cat Lau
英文翻譯 English Translation: Cliff Wu
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