Today marks the conclusion of our discussion on self-love, and I would like to draw the line between what it means to actually love yourself and what being selfish is. This is important because some without the deep understanding of self-love rush to condemn it and claim self-love to be a selfish life-style agenda. Which is not true.
Selfishness is the utter lack of care or disregard for other people. Selfish people are only concerned about themselves without consideration for anyone else. Self-love on the other hand is the acceptance of self by a show of care for self. I know these definitions seem similar, but they are different.
If you have ever watched a battered wife whose whole life was spent loving and caring for her partner, while doing all it would take for him to become successful but not growing her own life with the same zeal, if she becomes rejected later by the same man who now thinks himself of a higher class and status than she is despite she having supported him all their married lives, then you may be able to relate with these differences.
One is selfish while the other lacked self love that didn’t awaken her to know that she also needed to build herself up.
The man in this case is selfish, while the woman on the other hand lacks self-love. She might have thought herself as being self-less, but no, she wasn’t in the actual sense. She may have lacked the appreciation and correct evaluation of herself to have enabled her think of same growth for her own life that she desired for the man in her life. She may have done those things out of her own inner inadequacies.
It might have been more so she can gain approval and appreciation from her man, who in this case denied her those at the end. Before you condemn him too far, it is how the game turns out mostly. He’s not alone in this. We cannot always predict the action of another human, this is the reason self-love becomes important.
Since this topic, my only intention had been to help you see how self-love can help you live your life in a balanced way. Having gone through a lifestyle of self-denial in order for others to do well myself, I can relate with the importance of self-love. One thing you’d have to realize about human dealings is the unpredictability of the human mind.
Ever thought of how old loves turn out worst enemies against each other sometime later? These same lovers at the time of their love thought to never hurt each other. Neither one would have expected this attitude from the other. Why would a man go pour acid to defame the image of a lady he once claimed to be the most beautiful sculpture he ever saw? I guess only him can answer this.
Here’s what Psychology Today has to say about self-love: “Self-love is important to living well. It influences who you pick for a mate, the image you project at work, and how you cope with problems in your life. It is so important to your welfare that I want to know how to bring more of it into your life.” It goes further to say that “self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”
Self-love makes you live a healthy lifestyle that translates to great relations with other people.
If you ask me, I’d say that some people who in defiance to self-love act in ways to make other people better in life than themselves because of their own inability to love themselves are the real selfish beings.
Here’s how I mean: a woman for instance, who because of the ignorance to balance motherhood with other aspects of her life, then dedicate all her time and attention at home to raising the children alone without any form of self-development from home so as to also earn and grow thereby, or in some other way totally supports her husband on his own career advancement while she remains stagnant in other ways except in the raising of her husband and children.
If these children grow up and this woman keeps ringing into their ear of how much she had lost in her own life while raising them to be all they can be, without giving them the breathing space to return the care from their own heart with love, she’s being selfish. Her intention had been to use her own children, or husband in this case, to live her own dreams. Surprised? No, you shouldn’t be.
These are same women who would blame their husbands later for all their misfortunes and narrate to the world the story of how much they had spent their whole life ensuring all was well with him at their own detriment. My question is: “who sent you?” I know it can be painful to have such experience with someone you assumed would always have your back. But, you’re dealing with infallible humans. This is why self-love is important, again.
The gender is just an example. It can be either gender in many cases.
I am not advocating against women not being stay-at-home moms (that can be a superb opportunity to have more time for the family, but it shouldn’t stop you from the advancement your own life desires), neither to discredit dedicated wives who are for their husbands’ career success. I am for that too.
However, what I am saying is this: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF. Period. If you desire success for anyone, and that includes ANYBODY, become successful, too. Martyrs didn’t kill themselves, the people whom they cared for did. You shouldn’t destroy your own life so others can have one, only to turn around later in life bitter and expecting more than they are able to give you in return. It was your choice, init? Then stop the blaming!
Remember the story of the wise virgins? Have you ever thought of what could have happened if they had shared their oil at that moment the groom arrived with the other foolish virgins whose oil had dried up? This is the message of self-love.
Loving yourself isn’t selfish at all. In fact, not doing so is evil and could be detrimental to the fulfillment of your life’s purpose.
It should interest you to know that people who have love for themselves are one of the best human souls to come across in life. I can attest to that. It is because of their level of awareness and confidence that spurs from their self-evaluation and mind development. These people are rarely envious of other people’s lives, thus able to maintain sound relationships with other souls. Perfect.
Forsaking your own life so your partner, friends or children can have theirs, while you lose your one voice and livelihood in the process, and later reminding them occasionally of your sacrifices towards their success in order to make them feel like they owe their successes all to you, isn’t being selfless. It could be selfishness on your part and an excuse for your own inability to do the right things for yourself. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.
While it is true that some people have become successful because of the sacrifices from some others, be it their parents, mates, boss, or friends, it is never advisable to do this with utmost neglect for your own life. Many of these cases were people who had leveraged on the opportunities these mentors, friends, parents and mates offered them. I don’t think it was a parasitic interaction on any of the others’ part. Be discerning and intentional about your own life, regardless of your status. If you’re dealing with human beings, then prepare like you are.
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To your successfully evolving life.