Sunday, February 13, 2011

Loving Myself, Loving Others

If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself.
~Barbara De Angelis

Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features
~Viktor Frankl

Well, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and twitter, Facebook, the TV, and stores are abuzz with conversations of love. Some love the day, some hate the day, and some people just don't care. But, if we look past the day, there's still this little thing called love. Whether it's love for ourselves, our pets, job, friends, family, or significant other, we all need and desire love, and we also give love to others.

I often witness others (and have been guilty of this myself) giving so much of themselves (in the name of serving or loving others), that they have nothing left to give to themselves. Does this sound familiar to any of you? 
Here's the truth: There will ALWAYS be people who are in need, people that you can give to. If you don't set a boundary there will never be a point to your giving, because people will always take. Many of us were raised with the message that the most selfless thing we can do is to give unconditionally. I feel like I'm continuously fighting against this idea with my clients. 

Let me explain: I think that we all need to be serving others and giving to others. Being selfish is not healthy. But being a little selfish is. If we don't take care of ourselves, we won't be able to take care of others effectively. Let me say that again: If you don't take care of and love yourself, you will NOT be able to take care of others for very long. Sure, you will be able to for awhile. But fairly quickly, you will burn out. And, if you are at a point of burn out, you will have absolutely nothing to give to others. It's through being a little selfish (actually, healthy!) and loving ourselves FIRST, that we then have something to give to others. It is through loving ourselves that we can really love another person.

To Love ourselves we need to respect ourselves, and have good self-esteem and confidence. We need to be in healthy relationships, accepting love from others. We need to set healthy boundaries, decrease cognitive distortions, and increase overall health and wellness in our lives. This is an active and intentional process. 

So, my question to you is this: What do you love about yourself? How do you love (take care of) yourself? 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the comment on our blog. This is a great post. Self love, so important and so hard. I love that I know I'm a good mom and a good friend, I love to write. I'm realizing that it's hard to list what I love about myself though...