Self-love is not opposed to the love of other people. You cannot really love yourself and do yourself a favor without doing people a favor, and vice versa. ~ Karl Menninger, M.D.
As Dr. Menninger says above, when you give to yourself, you automatically give to others. That means when you show self-love, you are automatically loving others. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet it continually amazes me how few of us really believe and accept we should love ourselves.
A week or so ago, one of our readers wrote us a heart-wrenching letter. (See below.) As you read it, look for any reflections of yourself in the words. I could certainly see a few of my younger selves.
With the writer’s permission, we’re publishing a slightly edited version of the letter. For the sake of her privacy, I’ve deleted any identifying information.
Hope you had a wonderful summer.
I have a question for you, and if this has ever been addressed by Spirit, if you could redirect me to that posting, I would love to know what was said.
John, in so much of the information one reads about these days, you often hear you should “love yourself.”
I don’t know if there is something “wrong” with me, or if I had some crummy information “taught to me by others somewhere along the way, or bad experiences, or what the case may be, but for the life of me, I just find that whole idea so… What?
It just feels so phony, so ridiculous, or “who are you trying to kid” kind of feeling.
I just can’t stare at myself in a mirror, and spout off a bunch of phony-baloney, salivating about myself that “I love me; I just love me. Oh I can’t get enough of me!”
Maybe I’m just a little screwed up, maybe everybody is SUPPOSED to be able to gush and salivate over themselves. I just can’t.
I don’t believe that automatically means I can’t stand myself.
I don’t believe that makes me a “bad person.”
Like most people, I’ve been good, I’ve been bad. I like to think more good than bad, and I do my best to keep trying, to keep moving forward, to help whenever I can, and I understand that I’m a soul having a human experience, so I certainly won’t be perfect (else I probably wouldn’t be here in the first place!) but in the end?
I find I feel, I… just… AM.
Do I HAVE to be “mushy-gushy” over myself all the time to somehow “prove” I’m OK (Prove to who? Myself? Why?)?
One day, if you have a minute, I’d really be interested in hearing your opinion.
Have a great week, and many thanks for your postings.
All the best,
I replied to the letter writer the same day she wrote. See my reply below.
But first I wanted to say that when I reply to folks who contact me, my spirit guides often “jump in.” Or occasionally, I’ll ask them to participate. Years ago, they described this process as a “blending.” Meaning they and I were speaking as one. Although, I’m not “formally” channeling them, the end result is the same.
Here’s my (our) reply:
Hi (name withheld),
Yes, I did have a great summer, thank you. I hope you did too.
I agree with you—so many teachers are saying we need to be more loving to ourselves. I completely agree with that.
I’m not sure when or where my spirit guides said it, but they have said when we all learn to love ourselves as we deserve to be loved, then we will have peace on earth. It’s really a version of that old biblical admonition—the great commandment—Love God and your neighbor as yourself.
Your description of yourself is one probably many would give of themselves. Our society has brainwashed us into believing we are not deserving of good in our lives. I see that all over the place, even in religion.
I was brought up Roman Catholic. We were always taught to put everybody else ahead of ourselves. It was almost considered a sin to love yourself. There was (and maybe still is—I don’t know, as I left the church years ago) a part in the Roman Catholic mass where we repeated the words, “I am not worthy…”
Many people grew up with that perspective of themselves. Some of my old friends and family are still struggling with that perspective, even today.
Anyway, you asked for my opinion. So there it is. Are you sorry you asked now? 🙂
My spirit guides and I have written many times about love and self-love. And the subject often comes up in private readings.
Here are some of the posts that I could put my hands on. You might find something useful in them:
Learning To Love Yourself
11 Reasons You Don’t Love Yourself and What You Can Do About It
When You Love Yourself Your Problems Are Solved
How Do You Learn To Love Yourself?
I hope this helps.
Copyright © 2018 by John Cali
How do you feel about self-love? Do you feel uncomfortable with the idea? Or are you truly able to love yourself as you love others? Or maybe you’re somewhere in between.
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
The late Louise Hay was a big proponent of self-love. Though this video is titled Best Advice for Women: Love Yourself, Louise’s advice applies equally to men.
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John, thank you for the compliment – prior to even hearing the song. It’s a slightly different angle on the difficulty in loving oneself – but definitely a part of the overall picture. I must say I did not expect the video to embed the way it did with just a link – but then technology is constantly surprising me 😉
You’re most welcome, Dan. I did listen to the video after I replied to you. I really enjoyed it, and appreciate you sharing it with us.
WordPress has been doing a lot upgrades and changes. Embedding a link now, as you mentioned, is quick and easy. It wasn’t always that way. Like you, I’m constantly surprised at the progress technology is making. Sure makes life a lot easier for non-technical folks like me. 🙂
When I read this yesterday I wanted to respond but did not have enough time. I don’t think the love one has to have for oneself requires being gushy or even head over heals as spirit describes but more of an acceptance and approval no matter what(that unconditional term we like to throw about) … we can still be critical of things we have done – choosing not to repeat them – but that is different from criticizing ourselves. Being human means we have chosen to forget in order to learn and grow – what a boring world if we knew it all.
To look in the mirror and into one’s own eyes and love oneself like we would love our children or parents or siblings or lover is what I am talking about … because all those best qualities are the best qualities in ourselves – Love the one you are with all the time.
To clarify my thoughts on this subject – I went to my guitar – I love to play and write music – recorded this video after I wrote the song – not a usual practice for me but I felt inspired … and some interesting things happened in this video obviously beyond my conscious control … enjoy if you are able
Thanks very much, Dan, for your wise comments and observations. I agree with you — simply because we choose not to repeat our “mistakes,” that does not mean we are being critical or unloving toward ourselves.
Thanks very much for your music video. I’m looking forward to watching it. Having known each other for many years, I know what a talented musician you are.
It’s very true, everything is conspiring! After I emailed last week I sat down in meditation and asked spirit or whoever was listening what I need to know/do and now all mayhem has broken loose. I am taking it in my stride however and trusting the universe. I know in the long run it will be for my benefit. Out with the old ways in with the new!
Thank you, Sarah. The old ways — for all of us — are certainly on their way out.
I think self love is a thing many people struggle with.
I think the first step is just to accept yourself as you are without judgement. You are your own creation and part of all that is, or God.
I think Once you have accepted yourself, and can be kind and gentle with yourself, then you will find many things to like and even love about yourself.
I see at as though everything we have created serves a purpose in our lives, and we can learn many lessons from all our attributes, so we should love it all.
Thank you, Sarah, for you wise words. As you say, everything serves a purpose. I have a friend who’s fond of saying everything is conspiring for our awakening.
Yes, I love myself to pieces! That’s why I take the time to enjoy your love. Love, George
Thanks very much, George!