The Reasons Why: Self Love isn’t Selfish It’s Important
Are you one of the ones who thinks that self love isn’t selfish it’s important? Or are you on the opposite side and think that self-love is selfish? And which is best for a person’s overall well-being?
There are several reasons why one of the best things you can do for yourself is to practice self-love. The primary one is that it is good for your mental health.
And your odds of truly loving others is increased when you love yourself too. However, a lot of people have self love confused with being selfish and think that it isn’t important to have self-love.
In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. Let’s break down why self love is the opposite of selfishness.
What Self-Love Means
The definition of self-love (according to Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary) is “love of self”. The definition expands to include the following:
“An appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue”
This is the first sub-definition and is an important point to note. To appreciate and celebrate what you like about yourself is important.
Being stingy with self-love towards ourselves is not a good idea. We need to love ourselves and appreciate our worth as human beings. In the same way, we need to love other people and appreciate their intrinsic worth too.
It is hard to love other people when you do not love anything about yourself.
“Self-love begins when we observe our actions and words with compassion as if we were our own best friend.”Sara M Bosworth
“Often we are reluctant to promote self-love mostly because we confuse it with selfishness. Since we are humans, we ought to have a healthy love for ourselves; it is from this fount that love flows out to others.”Mason Olds
“Proper regard for and attention to one’s own happiness or well-being”
We are all stuck with ourselves – forever. As such, it makes sense that we should treat ourselves well in addition to others (not in place of others).
Turning into the best version of oneself has everything to do with finding out what makes YOU happy. Until you can figure out how to create your own happiness by doing things you love to do and being your authentic self, you will always be looking for your happiness outside of yourself.
It is a huge burden to place on someone else to put them in charge of your happiness. And, how could they ever really expect to make you happy, when they aren’t you?
You are the most important person in any relationship you may have because you will always be bringing you to the table. Once you know how to take care of you, it is much easier to take care of others properly too. And it takes a huge weight off the other person by not having to be something they are not – YOU.
“Inflated love of or pride in oneself : Also known as narcissism and conceit”
Self Love vs Selfishness
This the one most people worry about. For in fact, is self love selfish? The answer is no, not generally, because love itself isn’t selfish.
In this case, note the word “inflated”. This doesn’t mean you can’t love yourself. It just means you need to not take it too extremes.
If you suffer from low self-esteem, odds are good you will not have to worry about this anyway. For those that already have a high self-esteem, you should be able to tell when you have crossed over the line.
If you suddenly feel like you can do no wrong or that you are perfect in every way, or that others owe you something just for being you, then you may have a problem.
Self-awareness and your Sense of Self
One of the most important things you can do in your journey of self love is to have a good sense of self. By being aware of yourself – your strengths and weaknesses and what uniquely makes you – you, you are able to truly appreciate your own worth and what you can bring to the table in any relationship – romantic, friend, business, etc.
When you know yourself well, you can also spend less time doing things that won’t make you happy or that will cause you to suffer. You can apply healthy boundaries with other people around what is important to you too.
Care of Self (better known as) Self-Care
So many good things go into practicing excellent self-care which is one aspect of self-love. You want to pay attention to your physical health as well as your mental health.
To make sure you are keeping up on your physical health, make sure you have your yearly appointments as needed and as suggested for your age group. You can read more about this in “Take Care of You – Physically”.
As far as your mental health goes, the best way to take care of your most important relationship in your life (which happens to be with yourself), is to love yourself the way you would love someone you care about deeply. You wouldn’t subject someone you love to non-stop negative thoughts, would you?
The sad reality is that a lot of people do just that to themselves. If they were to monitor their own internal dialogue, they would hear themselves speaking in a not-so positive manner. If you are criticizing yourself with thoughts like “You are so stupid” or “I am so fat” on a regular basis, you are not taking care of your own needs.
You want to talk to yourself like you are your own best friend. And, you wouldn’t talk to your best friend that way, would you?
At the end of the day, you need to realize your own approval is what matters the most when you are considering how to treat yourself – and that is like the diamond you are. Your inner world can be a source of strength rather than something that takes away from your peace of mind.
Healthy Relationships Begin with True Self-Love
The main self love message you need to receive is to have a healthy relationship with yourself or anyone else for that matter, you need to realize that you deserve true love. True love isn’t necessarily the “hearts and flowers” you might associate with some movies, but rather the ability to love yourself or others from a place of kindness and respect.
When you believe that no one is perfect and we are all a work in progress, you can start to love yourself where you are while also move towards improving yourself too. By setting boundaries around what you will and won’t accept in terms of treating yourself with kindness and respect, you also will be on your way to doing the same with others.
By giving them the same courtesy you give to yourself, you are demonstrating a healthy sense of self. Of course, if someone is not treating you with kindness and respect, that is obviously a warning sign you need to tread carefully and reevaluate this relationship in your life.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Another act of self love is to consider who you are being influenced by on a regular basis. It may take a while to recognize it, especially if you are new to loving yourself.
But you should strive to be around people who have a positive outlook on life. This can make a world of difference in terms of your mood.
By like token, the needs of others dictate that you also try to be a positive influence for them. If you can have a positive outlook about yourself and about them, they too can reciprocate that positivity back to you. It is one of those true things in life, that you attract what you put out into the universe and vice versa.
Some Examples of Self Love
Loving yourself can look like the following:
- Setting boundaries around your time and energy
- Not accepting negative self-talk
- Practicing excellent self-care
- Knowing your limits and enforcing them
- Doing what is best for yourself – like practicing self-discipline as needed
Quotes on Why Self-Love Isn’t Selfish It’s Important
Another form of inspiration is to read these sayings about self love (or better yet, tape these positive self love quotes to the front of the mirror so you see them frequently as a reminder of the wonder that is you).
“Don’t waste your energy trying to change people’s opinions. Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”Tina Fey
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”Maya Angelou (She has so many great quotes about self-love, confidence, and being a strong woman. Check More out here “https://wisdomquotes.com/maya-angelou-quotes/”)
“Talk to yourself like someone you love.”Brene Brown
“Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”Eleanor roosevelt
“Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”Marianne Williamson
“Look inward, the loving begins with you”Oprah Winfrey
“You are what you believe yourself to be”Paulo Cahlo
“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness”Robert Morley
“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on.”Maxwell Maltz
Bottom Line – Self Love Isn’t Selfish It’s Important
The self love message is one that loving yourself is not selfish. If you were brought up in a loving environment as a child, you should be able to remember how you loved yourself, especially as a child.
It seems as we get older (especially the teen years), we start to believe things that aren’t true about ourselves – and lose sight of our true selves in the process. When doing this, we start to also not love ourselves as much because we feel like we are an imposter – not being true to ourselves.
This is why one of the first steps toward loving ourself is to be kind to ourself and treat ourself like we would a friend or a small child – with love, courtesy, and respect.
What do you think? If you are interested in learning more about self-care and self-love, please check out the following articles.
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