Updated: Aug 4, 2022
To love myself is to always be engaged in dialogue with myself.
Loving myself means…
Many might say loving myself means eating well, practicing yoga or some other kind of exercise, which I feel only addresses the superficial. Soul searching is my way of loving myself.
Photography @kaleidosky.hk @hoaxchiu
“Who am I?” My early twenties was a tumultuous period in my life. My relationship with my family was bad and I hated my job. I kept asking myself, “How have I become this person?” I believe there is a reason to why things happen, and I did some soul searching to look for an answer.
Asking yourself the question “Why am I the person I am right now?” is a great way to better understand yourself. Things like familial relationships, especially the one we have with our parents, and other past experiences have an influence on us and shape us into the person we have become.
I have a habit of looking into other people’s eyes during conversations. It is a great aid when it comes to reading between the lines.
I sometimes feel a sense of disgust merely on the first impression of someone. It comes from a sense of familiarity because I was once that same person. You can see right through to the thoughts and behaviour that is brewing behind. My dislike of that person is borne out of self-criticism. It also serves as a reminder to myself to do better and have a better understanding of who I am.
Always be self-critical. That’s my way of loving myself. How can you love yourself if you don’t understand who you are?
Photography @nosemiu ©memes & friends
Not loving myself is…
I’m a kind of reverse thinker. I’ll take criticism from others and turn it into a form of motivation.
Busking with Tatsuya 2019 | Photography @Frankie Chan
在我玩手碟 (handpan) 的初期，被一位前輩說我沒天份，於是我就下決心苦練。直到最近重遇他，我已能辨別出他在技術上的瘕疵，與比我優秀的地方所在。歲月的磨練讓我體會到，能否超越別人已經不重要，能令我們獨當一面地展現自己，才是意義所在。因此我心中一直很感謝他當初對我的批評。
An accomplished handpan player once told me I lacked talent when I first started, and that was when I decided to really dedicate myself to learning the instrument. When we met again recently, I was able to hear the flaws in his technique, but also realise where he is the better player. After years of playing, I’ve now realised it’s not about whether I’ve become the better player, but rather how we can express ourselves through our instrument. And I sincerely thank him for his criticism at the beginning of my journey.
All those who have caused me harm in the past have become my motivation in life. They have become part of my great plan for vengeance. You don’t need a sword for revenge. When you focus on bettering yourself, others will naturally take notice. I take this mindset with me to seek revenge on society and the wider world, and I have a lot of grief to air on society as a whole.
Some might think my attitude on life is not in a state of loving myself. I therefore think loving or not loving is too binary in choice. There are so many things in life that are not simply black or white. I used to know a few friends in gangs, and sure some were into drugs and others lowlifes, but they were pretty nice guys apart from that. I’ve had people warn me about hanging out with the wrong crowd, but in the end I never picked up any of their bad habits because I can think for myself.
No one can change who you are if you set your mind to it. This is a human quality we have in all of us.
The lifestyle of loving myself…
Most people know me as a cat lover, and I’m equally caring of my friends too. I’m the type to run out to grab a remedy for a friend who’s ill. I enjoy the warm acts of kindness among friends and the small things and moments we are able to share in life.
Human beings are group animals. If you ask me to suddenly go off-grid and live like a hermit, I won’t be able to handle that.
Although there are many things I hate about human behaviour, I still need to live with people around me. That is why my way of loving myself has a great connection with the people I have around me.
There was a time when I was betrayed by a close friend, and I realised then how fragile human relationships can be when personal interests are involved. Even though I was not the one at fault, I still want to apologise to them because I cherish the relationships I’ve formed with others. I’ve got to accept that not everyone thinks like the way I do.
As long as you act with a good conscience in life, you’re bound to meet those that support you. Even If you can only find one.
Chor Lai 初 | Hong Kong
Ig / fb: @chorhandpan
All Images Copyright © chorhandpan
總編輯 Editor-in-Chief: Dani Chong
執行編輯 Executive Editor: Jinno Neko
英文翻譯 English Translation: Cliff Wu
NEXT 下一篇 / 專訪19 Makui @MUM’s NOT HOME #我的愛自己是 享受自我時間
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