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Thou Shall Love Thyself

Before I get started, I know that you have probably read tons of articles that talk about insecurities and loving yourself, but let’s look at things from a slightly different angle…

Do you know someone who is always hostile towards others, selfish, judgemental and often presuming the worst in others? Sometimes you just don’t get where this attitude comes from!!! It is probably because that person does not love herself. She may not even be aware of it, but the fact that she doesn’t love herself makes it very difficult for her to
look at other people with “loving” eyes.

Don’t get it twisted – “loving others” is not to be confused with adoration of others. Many a fan “adores” and even idolises a celebrity or public figure. This is often because she sees in that person what she doesn’t see in herself. Often fans even want to be just like their idols, because in comparison they feel inadequate or not good enough. They feel that, in a number of ways, that person is so much better than them. Even this is a lack of self-love.

Subconsciously we view and treat people the way we view and treat ourselves. For example, I like to push myself and to not give up easily. When I know I haven’t done my best at something, I get frustrated with myself. I have the exact same attitude towards others. When I see a family member, friend or colleague not pushing themselves to the limit, not trying to think out of the box, quitting at the first hurdle, I get very frustrated – very quickly!

Similarly, those who are insecure about their appearance will be quick to find flaws and imperfections in those around them. I had this experience with a friend in the past. She was overweight and although she was often the life and soul of the party, she would constantly go on about the weight gain of other women, including mine! Now she has
lost weight and is obviously more confident within herself. I actually have gained a few pounds since then but she no longer makes negative comments to me or others. Why? Because now she is content within herself (thank goodness for that!)

When you struggle to accept your own mistakes and flaws, you will find it difficult to accept those of others. When you are not over your past, you will bring up others’ past. When you cannot truly forgive yourself for wrongdoings, you cannot forgive others. You may move on, but the unforgiveness is still there and will tap you on the shoulder to remind you of its presence every so often. When you are like this, you become a very standoffish person, making it difficult for others to want to get to know you and ultimately making it difficult for you to receive love.Perhaps you don’t have many close friendships or even find it a struggle to build close relationships with your own family members. Perhaps people prefer to deal with you at arms’ length. This could
possibly be down to your lack of self-love.

The Good Book tells us to “love thy neighbour as thyself” – so if you don’t love yourself, it is impossible for you to truly show love to others. If you think that you can “love” others without loving yourself, then you don’t know the meaning of love…

Love gives. Love sacrifices. Love accepts. True love is unconditional! True love is the acceptance of someone, flaws and all! True love doesn’t just see the here and now. It sees potential. It sees the future. It believes and is always hopeful and therefore, true love can
never die. If you cannot love yourself unconditionally – despite your big feet and thin hair, despite your unfeminine frame and rather prominent rear end, despite your character flaws, then your so-called “love” towards others will always be conditional.

I look at myself and see many, many, many things that I want and NEED to change. I can always be better than what I am – we all can! I am a work in progress and every day I take small (sometimes tiny) steps to improving – but throughout this process I am still loving who I am -I am still loving me! Although I have many flaws (and a few spare tyres
too!) there are also many good things about me – and others love me because I love me!

When you love yourself you are able to be yourself – don’t miss next month’s Soul Food article, which is all about the real you! In the meantime, love thyself – imperfections and all for you are wonderfully made!

 

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