Love Yourself First
There is a verse in the Scripture that is probably familiar to a lot of us. In the second commandment, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves.
When you take a moment to consider all that is going on today, this can be complex. Your perception concerning this topic may vary, but it is obvious that this is not an easy task. While most people know deep down what they need to do, they just don’t act on it. Even more find themselves unable to commit to such an absurd command. In this day and age, you got to watch your own back, no?
Where Does It Start
It came as a surprise to me that the difficult part is not about loving my neighbor but the love I have for myself. The way I see it, if I am unsuccessful in loving myself, which is the criteria here, how then can I love my neighbor? Let’s deal with the core issue.
You might argue that a person can't doubt that they love themselves. Of course they do. There is so much talk about self-love that it creates more confusion than clarity.
Self-love is a popular term that gets tossed around every which way these days. It is all over the place. You would not have missed it. Social media captions appearing alongside beautiful glossy images. There is a seemingly endless list of luxury products and services trends all aimed to lull you into falling in love with yourself.
The concept is not new but the understanding might be flawed. Unfortunately, the popular bent interprets this claim as an excuse for indulgence and lack of responsibility.
You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy any place.
– Ernie Banks
Self-Love or Self-Care
Sure, self-care is important and there is a difference. But what happens after having invested all the attention and care and yet never felt like you have truly achieved? You will soon realize that all those external things were never able to fill the void within.
I have heard people rave about self-love and most of the time it involve pampering of the senses. You may have caught yourself claiming that because you love yourself, therefore, you are entitled to indulge. I’m not talking about the act itself but the motivation behind the action. The pursuit of happiness and freedom justifies the shifts in social norms toward acceptance of unhealthy habits. We do things mainly because it feels good but not considering for a moment if it is beneficial.
As most of us would have assumed, self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support the physical, mental, and psychological sense. It is often considered as one of the purest forms of selfishness. Through self-reflection, we divert our attention from all external distractions to focus our energy inward.
Loving You First
Loving yourself comes from understanding that you are a part of something bigger. It pays when you take the time to connect with your higher self which is your source of love and truth. You direct your attention to that inner voice called intuition that speaks ever so constantly. We cannot see our soul essence as long as we operating from our ego wounded self. We are stuck from the false beliefs that have been programmed about our worth and lovability. These self-limiting beliefs originate during earlier days that shape the way we view our world.
True self-love is self-acceptance of your entire being involving the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Denying who you are can result in low self-esteem, depression, bitterness and resentment.
Selfishness typically exhibits characteristics of neediness and insecurity. It comes from the scarcity mindset rather than from a place of fulfillment. The selfish person focuses on satisfying their desires and needs, ignoring the highest good. A mindful person understands that indulgence is gratifying what feels good at the moment but may not be beneficial. Whether it is in the form of pleasure or pain, selfishness is a quick fix that easily leads to dysregulated behaviors.
Love yourself first and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
– Lucille Ball