Do you like yourself?

Do you like yourself?

I always translate that question to Do I like Elaine?

I know it’s weird, but I always take time to leave “I” and “Me” and look at myself as another person. Sometimes, I behold myself as if I’m someone outside of me, another human being. I try to see how I would look like if I were another person. Would I find myself beautiful, or nice, or happy to be with? Would I admire myself? Would I want to love myself? What are the things I would wish I’d change to become better? I know it sounds pretty crazy – haha! – but I think it’s healthy, and it somehow aids self-love.

It was 2016 when I realized that I like Elaine. It was evening. I was sitting by the window on a bus heading to Baguio. The girl beside me had her jacket over her face, asleep. I didn’t know who she was. I didn’t know anyone on the bus save myself and God. But somehow, I found myself happy, enjoying Elaine’s company. I was away from everything else known to me, and I was alone solely with my thoughts and all that I contained. I found it peaceful but not empty. Wise but not loud. And then it was simply happy. Somehow, I felt that Elaine was a wonderful person, that she was dear to me. I didn’t want her potential to be wasted, and I thought she was too kind to be insulted.

The thing is, I do not like “Myself” all the time. Sometimes, I get irritated at my physical flaws, or discouraged by my limitations, past sins and weaknesses. There was even a time when I could not remember how to be Elaine anymore. I resolved by writing a list of who I knew I was and posting it on my wall. Without that list, I just remember the solitude I had on the bus. I then find my imperfections as part of my exotic beauty, and my weaknesses as signs that I can be better. Then again, I see myself as another person. I behold Elaine as she is, and think that she still is wonderful.

How about you?

Do you like (insert your name here)?

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