In a culture that promotes kindness , selflessness , compassion and putting others before yourself, can create placing oneself as a lower priority or value . Loving oneself is either taught as having the modest opinion of yourself , having an inflated opinion of yourself, or lesser opinion of yourself. These opinions may vary for each individual. For example , a person might think of him /herself as very modest in beauty or appearance but have a conceited opinion of their intelligence and abilities . Conversely, someone may think themselves very beautiful or worthy of love and appreciation but not very smart about things. In either case , loving oneself is at the art of how we see one another and determines how we react and respond to each other every day.
The definition of self love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self- love means having a high regard for your well - being and happiness. However, self -love should not ne confused with its opposite character, self - hatred. Self -hatred encompasses continual feelings of inadequacy, guilt and low self- hatred. People may constantly compare themselves to others, perceive only the negative and ignore the positive, and believe that they will never be " good enough ( Psychology Today, 2023).
When we are powered by self- love it causes us to have a positive regard and treatment of others. When we seek good, health, hope and happiness for ourselves we usually want to see that lived out in others around us. We in effect do exactly what Jesus said over 2000 years ago. " Love your neighbors as yourself ".
Loving yourself is not conceit , arrogance, or pride. It's a realizing, living , and caring for yourself in such a way that promotes your health, love , peace and prosperity. It does not mean you seek your own health , your own love , your own peace , or your own prosperity. It seeks that for ALL. This may sound like an oxymoron however, it is doing for others what you would want done for you, whether others do it for you or not. It is treating yourself the way you want to be treated.
Loving yourself so you can love others might look something like this :
Saying positive things to yourself.
Not letting others take advantage of you.
Prioritizing your health and wellbeing.
Valuing your feelings.
Pursuing your interests and goal.
Accepting your imperfection.
Setting realistic expectation to yourself.
Being gracious to yourself.
Loving others when its hard.
Loving yourself when its hard.
"But now faith , hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love" ( 1Cor 13:13).