Why Loving Yourself is not Selfish

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been told by someone that you’ve gone to for help with your various health issues that you’ve got to start loving yourself. I don’t know what it was but for some or other reason I understood this on an intellectual level, but just couldn’t get it right to actually do it. And I didn’t know what I needed to do either, because no-one was ever specific about it to me. I just got…”You have to LOVE YOURSELF!!!”

YES, I KNOW!!! So how do I do that?!!!


PHOTO: Marlene McPherson (c)

It took me years to put together, because it is a very subtle thing, this loving yourself thing. Not doing it, especially if you’re a woman, sneaks into every aspect of your everyday life and before you know it, you’ve removed yourself out of your life and you’ve become a people pleaser.

Because that is EXACTLY what it means NOT to love yourself. If you’re putting other people first, you’re not loving yourself. Period.

Yup. I’ve finally nailed it!

This does not mean that you must not care about other people. No, like I said, it is a very subtle thing. If you put other people first, and this is the important part, to your own detriment, meaning it is damaging you, irritating you or making you angry, then you are not loving yourself. As a matter of fact it means you are HARMING YOURSELF.

Before you do anything for anyone else, take time to think about it first, ask yourself the following questions and answer them honestly:

  • Will it make me happy?
  • Do I really have the time or the means?

Don’t feel funny to ask for time to think about it. Put your hand on your heart and take 10-20 seconds. If the answer to either one is no, you will not be loving yourself if you do it, because it will be challenging, damaging or harming you. If you do choose to do it anyway, make sure that it is for the right reasons then.

The Right Reasons:

  • I made a commitment to this person or institution and I have to honour that commitment.
  • I love this person and am willing to endure some discomfort to help them out in this instance.

If you find that it becomes too much of a strain to do things within a commitment, ask yourself if it will be to your benefit to end the commitment and make sure you are in it for the right reasons, not the insecurity reasons listed below. If you find yourself always helping a person you love with the same thing, realise that you are not doing them a favour by being a crutch, rather help them to face their issue and find a real solution by stating your boundaries.

The Wrong Reasons:

  • What will they think of me if I don’t do it?
  • I will be a terrible person if I don’t do it!
  • I will never hear the end of it if I don’t do it!

These are all fears and insecurities and never good reasons to do anything!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying in the Christian Bible, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”. Well, it’s the “as you love yourself” bit that is the most important, and the one most people totally miss because they place so much focus on the “Love your neighbour” bit. You simply cannot love anyone else if you do not even acknowledge yourself and your own needs! You can only give from a full container, and it has to run over before you can give. You cannot give from an empty one!

This means that if you are depleted, you cannot give. You’ll be irritable, tired and grumpy.

And if you continue giving when you are like that, you will end up over-extending yourself and your system will simply shut down. You will either get sick, or you will have an accident or a fall. Your body will not have the reserves to rebuild and maintain itself and somewhere it will crash or malfunction.

That is why it is vital for you to look after yourself, not selfish.

To be able to function as a normal human being, you need rest, food, water and exercise. This means that you have to take the time to do all these things in the proper manner to enable your body, mind and emotions to recharge and be in balance and harmony.

And guess what? No-one else can do that for you. You have to. You’re the only one in this whole wide world that’s responsible for you and everything you do.

This is awesome!

It means that you do not need anyone else to love you, you only need you to love you. Everything else will then simply fall into place.

You’ll be happy, fulfilled, joyful, abundant and loving. And you’ll be able to give all of that to everyone around you!

Kind of important, don’t you think?

Do you or did you have difficulties loving yourself? If you do, have overcome it or have questions, please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

If you think this might help a friend, please pass it on or share it on Social Media. Let’s spread the word and help each other to become balanced and stress free!

Why Loving Yourself is not Selfish was published originally on Basic Balance. More about Marlene McPherson and her work as a Natural Health Practitioner at Essence of Namo.



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