I came across with an article written by Ken Page L.C.S.W.-How To Love Yourself First
It’s amazing that loving one’s self is based primarily on how the surroundings love us. The question that may arise from this is if nobody loves you no other person who would take the risk in dispensing such level of love except yourself.
The Holy Scriptures says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” Matthew 22:39. This statement brings forth the message that the best measuring rod in loving others is “self”.
Giving the Best to One’s Self is Giving the Best for others
Loving one’s self is giving the best you can. On the basic human needs which are food, clothing, shelter, education no one should be deprived of these.
Food-Everyone wants to taste and be fed of the most delicious and nutritious food as possible as we can.
Clothing-Everyone needs this to warm ourselves from cold weather and ultraviolet rays of the sun. Protect ourselves from insect bites and anything that may be unfriendly to our skin. And especially to hide our shamefulness from the examining eyes of other persons.
Shelter-A shelter is our home. It is our most essential security during day and night. Not only for security but also for comfort and this makes us envious of having an air-conditioned house especially during summer time. We wanted the durable ones to be safe from typhoons, earthquake, floods and other calamities that may come unexpectedly.
Education-We need skills, we need knowledge about everything we see and use and avail of. Education can either be formal or informal but both can be beneficial in the development of a person. He/she has to understand himself/herself, understand others, understand other living and non-living things.
These are the needs in life that can make us whole, enjoy a meaningful life and appreciate and if possible love ourselves by giving all these.
It is no wonder that the great teacher a long time ago has stressed loving one’s self is the standard to measure how we love others. Nobody wants to harm himself/herself so you don’t want to harm others. Respect yourself and others will respect you.
A Biblical Point of View of Ourselves
With respect to the Psychology Today I am taking the reversal side to have another take on the discussion.
One of the Biblical characters, Paul, that lived in the first century had a theology that states the following resounding words until this days, “Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you! God will destroy anyone who destroys God’s temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are his temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
The Apostle impresses on every individual the holiness of our own body. The human body is part of the whole being of a person which should not be taken for granted. It should be taken cared for, it should be loved and it should serve the purpose, the ultimate good.
This is how the surroundings look at an individual, anybody who is irresponsible is condemned. If you abuse yourself particularly your body people will tag you as a person who doesn’t know what you are doing, a stiffnecked one and their love and respect are conditional.
Where does people’s love is founded? It is from you yourself who have shown to them how you appropriate love to yourself. Gaining people’s love for you is learning to love yourself. If you don’t love yourself don’t expect that somebody will love you unconditionally.
I Learned to Love Myself
I was born in a backward environment, meaning, rural community with no means of transportation, backward economy, and agriculture. With illiterate grandparents and parents who just depend from hand to mouth existence, I never heard about loving one’s self except to go with the natural flow of life which is: eat, sleep, have self-hygiene and do what you think is appropriate, righteous and good.
As I mature I have come to a realization that the self is not just the physical but it is even, socio-cultural, political and spiritual. I see myself likened as a whole divided into four parts and without one part is not complete.
Economic-This is one aspect of life that should not be forgotten but it should not overburden life because this is only one-fourth of it.
Socio-Cultural-We should learn to socialize with other people. We are individuals but we cannot live without the help of other people. They need us and we need them, their presence and our presence makes life more meaningful than living alone. Other people will help us develop our personality.
Political-We are all citizens of a particular area and we are under certain governance. We submit ourselves to the rulings of the community and we contribute to the betterment of everyone. We all assume the responsibility of community management for this is how we are part of an orderly system.
Spiritual-They said, “Human are religious by nature” and this is true. We believe ins spirits, we believe in a Divine Being, we believe in an afterlife. By being spiritual we mold ourselves in the embrace of that Divine Being whom we believe. We worship in spirit through our minds and souls. We gain strength in spiritual nurture whom that Divine Being speaks and teaches to us.
This is how I love myself, it is by appropriating the four parts or aspects of life and that without the other my life is not complete. This is how I gain the trust, respect, and love of other people to whom I deal with. It is somewhat challenging but I must because it is what I teach the people, that they should love themselves before they expect others to love them.
Thank you for reading and I hope you learned something. I would encourage you to share how do you love yourself by leaving a comment within the comment box below. I promise to get back to you as soon as I read your messages.