Lestat Lesson #3
“I don't like myself, you know. I love myself, of course. I'm devoted to myself till my dying day. But I don't like myself.”
We are who we are, so just accept it.
I think everybody has qualities in themselves that they are not too pleased with, be they physical, emotional, or mental attributes.
Just because we don't like something about ourselves doesn't mean we should automatically try to change it though.
Accepting oneself is a part of life, and we cannot get through life if we don't atleast make an attempt at self-acceptence.
You might not like the fact that you're extremely shy, that you're not athletically inclined, that you might be a little overweight, have a big nose, or something like that.
That doesn't mean that overall we shouldn't like ourselves. Human beings are a study in balance; nobody's perfect. Wherever there's something good, you can bet there's something bad to go along with it.
Look at Lestat: he's a self-admitted bad-guy, he has no qualms about following his heart, even if it's telling him to do something that's not very nice. Still, Lestat's devoted to himself because he is who he is.
He recognizes his faults and shortcomings as integral parts of his personality. Self-acceptance does not entail liking every single little aspects about ourselves.
Such is the case with Lestat: he accepts himself because it's necessary for his survival, yet at the same time he doubts the things that he does because they are often in conflict with his previously programmed value system.
Lestat doesn't like himself because he's aware that a lot of the things he does are wrong or in conflict with his human morality; still, he loves himself because he accepts himself on the whole.
He's devoted to himself till his dying day because he's not at odds with his whole self. You have to take the whole package, good and bad, if you really want to get through life in one piece.
That's exactly what Lestat has done: Do you think he would have the stamina for immortality if he truly hated who he was?
Of course, it's a different situation with vampires because they have forever and we only have a limited space of time, they don't have to answer to societal laws in the same way we do (which is a big part of the attraction they hold for us mere mortals), but the basic idea is the same (don't mistake my arguments here for an excuse to do wrong either, i.e. 'I can like myself being a criminal because I accept that bad part of myself'.
The same rules don't apply when you're talking about vampires. However, their actions can help elucidate and clarify similar situations within the human condition because they are able to do the things we can't).
The crux of Lestat's statement is this:
Accept yourself for who you are, shortcomings and all. Life as a whole will be much easier to deal with if you see yourself as a whole person, not just a random collection of positive or negative qualities.
You don't have to like every little thing about yourself, but you do have to love yourself as a whole if you really want to last. Sorry for the overly shmaltzy subject matter, but self-acceptance is an important topic, even if discussing it does entail a little mushiness 🙂
For additonal enlightenment on this topic, you might want to check out the Toad the Wet Sprocket song “Know Me”, from their Bread and Circus LP.
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