The art of truly loving yourself
I've seen a lot of articles, videos, books, talks, and podcasts on this topic of self-love. You never know how desperately people need to love themselves until you see the abundant material that is out there. Some produce great insight and wisdom, while some are just vague because people like to be up to date with the latest terminology, which they don't dig deep enough to find out what it really means. Whether a material is excellent or average at its best, we all need to learn to love ourselves. So permit me to add my two cents to the matter. Let’s talk!
Image courtesy of Unsplash
What is self-love?
This means regard for one's own well-being and happiness (according to Google). Self-love is not something that came about in the wake of the new century, this is something we were commanded to do ages ago, that dates far back to the bible. This goes to show that the bible is still relevant at this time, even if people try to make it seem obsolete. When Jesus came to the earth, He brought to light a new commandment that the people didn't know about.
He was asked what the greatest commandment was, and He answered saying "You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment, greater than these." The second part of the commandment is what I am highlighting today. He said we need to love ourselves first before we can give love to somebody else.
You will be surprised at the number of people who don't love themselves, and some of them don't know it. I was watching a video some time ago, and the speaker shared a story of how he was friends with a girl who was in an unhealthy relationship. This said girl was dating a guy who was openly cheating on her with multiple women. She complained to her friend, revealing she was sick of the whole situation and didn't know what else to do about it. Eventually, she broke up with the guy and moved forward with her life.
About six months later, she met a new guy who basically worshiped the ground she walked upon. He showed her love, care, and what it meant to be valued and treasured in a relationship. She met up with her friend again, highlighting these great qualities in the new man, but was unexcited. She felt there was no conflict in the relationship, she missed fighting off women, and eventually went back to her ex-boyfriend who treated her poorly.
Now that is someone who definitely does not love herself. For a person to prefer dysfunction to what seemed like a healthy relationship, reveals a lot of brokenness in their life. Maybe a dysfunctional relationship was modeled to them as a loving relationship while they were growing up, who knows. And that is how some people end up married to people who don’t care about their well-being. You have to learn to love yourself first; you have to learn to value yourself, knowing that you are worth it.
Why is self-love important?
Productivity; if you don’t love yourself, it shows up in every aspect of your life. That low self-esteem you carry spills into other relationships (friends, family, work) and affect your productivity.
Self-respect; you allow others to disrespect and treat you like trash when you don’t respect yourself, which stems from the lack of love you have for yourself. Lack of self-love, means you don’t know you are valuable. So you accept any Tom, Dick or Harry that comes your way (but Harry worked for Meghan Markle, so this has thrown this saying into the gutter. Now patiently waiting for my Tom or Dick. Anyway I digress). If you love yourself, you will weed out those who are not supposed to be in your life and make room for healthy people to come in.
Mental health; this is another term that is so hot right now. A lot of people spiral out of control, and we are all left wondering where it started. I can point back to the lack of self-love (although not the only cause). If you don’t love yourself, you will attract the wrong people and circumstances into your life. These people and situations define you since you can't make healthy choices for yourself, which affects your mental health.
It is very crucial that we take time out to learn about ourselves, ponder why we were put on this planet, discover our purpose, and surround ourselves with people who genuinely love us and are not leeches, so we can love ourselves again. I know not everyone who reads my articles are Christians, but there is something the Bible teaches us which is very important, whether you believe or not. The bible says that we were bought with a price, and our lives are not our own.
This means Jesus, sacrificed Himself for us because we are that valuable to God. So don't devalue yourself or let others do that to you. About the greatest commandments, the first part calls us to love God with all of our being. I believe that is where love begins. If we love God, with everything Jesus said we should, then we will have the capacity not only to love ourselves but to love others as well.
Hope you grabbed a thing or two from this today’s Wisdom Weekly article. Contribute to the conversation by leaving your thoughts in the comment section below. Also remember to like, share and subscribe to never miss an update.