I’m probably going to get a lot of heat for saying that self-love requires you to be selfish — perhaps because of the stigma attached to the word ‘selfish’. Selfishness is having the lack of consideration for others by being devoted to caring for one-self; and concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits and well-being. As much as I agree that we should be considerate and have some level of regard for others, I believe that if we don’t seek an interest in ourselves and our personal benefit or care for our well-being, no one else is going to do it for us.
As much as no one likes to be called selfish, the fact is that we are all selfish by nature. We may be kind, helpful, compassionate, and may even make self-sacrifices for others, but the brutal honesty is that deep within we all have varying levels of selfishness embedded within us — because we all want what’s best for ourselves. No one wants to suffer. Do we wake up on mornings and say – “I wish Tom has a great day today and that my day sucks”… nope! Do we go to a job interview and look at the other interviewees and say – “I hope they get the job and I don’t”… nope! We all want what’s best for ourselves and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You are selfish because you love yourself and you want the best for yourself – as you should! You need to be selfish enough to have self-love, self-respect, and self-worth. I call it being ‘good-selfish’.
Why do you need to be selfish to love yourself? — because even though you may have the unconditional love and care of your family, friends, and significant other, no one is ever going to love you the way you love yourself –no one!
Self-love comes from within and only you can love yourself from within. Only you have the power to make yourself unconditionally happy and take care of your emotional and physical well-being. Only then you would be able to give love and happiness to others.
I remember when Andy and I met, my life was in shambles. Emotionally, I was all over the place and even though I knew he wanted to commit to our relationship, I wasn’t ready. At that point, I couldn’t give him the love and happiness he deserved because I didn’t have it for myself. It took me quite some time of being selfish and taking care of myself before I was able to give to him. Wasn’t that extremely selfish of me? Thing is, I knew our relationship would’ve failed had I jumped selflessly into it — so being selfish was not only required, it was the best thing to do at the time.
Self-love is important. Self-love is necessary. You simply cannot give what you don’t have. Can you give someone five chocolates if you only have one? No, you can’t. The same applies for love. If you don’t have love for yourself how are you to give love to the people in your life? “You cannot pour from an empty cup”. You need to love yourself so much until your cup is overflowing — only then you will be able to give to others. So if building that self-love means being selfish, then be selfish! I guarantee if you take that interest to care for your well-being now, in the long run, your partner, friends, children, and family will all enjoy a healthier, happier, better you. What are your thoughts on self-love?
If you have the ability to love, love yourself first. ― Charles Bukowski
…Keep Smiling – Love, Candace