For many years I thought it was wrong to love myself. I grew up in an era when expressing love for yourself was a big no-no. What about you? I guess it’s still probably the same in many situations in life. The trouble is if we don’t love ourselves, we can’t properly love others, and the foundation to all our loving relationships becomes flawed.
Rejecting self-love is welcoming the false conscience. This is unnatural. It’s enjoying a poor self-esteem and it cuts down anyone more properly self-aligned. From the other side, self-love is healthy esteem that’s necessary to enjoy good life and to make a good contribution to the life around us. After all, this is our end goal—to make that contribution.
It takes courage and truth to really love yourself. After all, “you” are all you are and have. This means we might as well love ourselves. Yet, that’s not imperative enough. If we’ve only got ourselves we really ought to love ourselves. It becomes the centre of our experience, not in an egocentric way, which clearly goes too far with it, but it helps us get to our relationship goals—it’s a means to a good end—a necessary pre-requisite.
Nurturing relationships means I need to be kind to me before I can be kind to someone else, anyone else.
This explored simply means being kind to ourselves—emotionally... and how we think. It’s being gentle when we’re tempted to criticise ourselves for failures, silly things said etc. It’s being an advocate for ourselves, but also taking responsibility for ourselves.
Loving ourselves is balance. It’s a true view of ourselves; probably close to how God really sees us. It’s loving ourselves precisely how someone who truly loves us loves us. It’s sad that many have never really experienced this genuine, self-effacing love. They therefore cannot connect with it. This is very sad.
The thing that I thought was right for many years, this thing that felt quite wrong, is wrong.
We’re designed to love ourselves. The reason this is true is we were designed to love others. We cannot truly love others unless we first love ourselves; again this is couched as a healthy esteem for ourselves.
You are all you have. Make the most of the relationship you have with “you.”
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.