“If you have trouble loving yourself, imagine that everyone in the world is a hungry soul whose life has been imperfect. Like you, they had imperfect parents. Like you, tragedies and difficulties befell them. If you could hear each person’s story, you would probably be moved to tears and want to reach out and embrace that person. You would want to tell them that in spite of everything they’ve gone through, they have great value.” ~Daphne Rose Kingma …
Perhaps it seems a bit odd that we would have trouble loving ourselves. That would require a choice on our part not to allow ourselves the opportunity to experience our love. But often times people see such love as a selfish and self-indulgent love. This can lead us to forsaking our own needs of self-love, which is an absolutely necessary first step to being able to truly love others. Such love requires complete and unconditional love, which cannot be given from without… it must come from within.
Here, Kingma gives us a strategy for being able to love ourselves. She reminds us that we are able to feel love and compassion for others, so we too are able to feel compassion and love for ourselves. Your life has been imperfect… and so has mine. Why are you able to show me sympathy and compassion when I do something wrong, yet be so incredibly hard on yourself for your mistakes?
When we do not allow ourselves compassion and love, it is not fair to the rest of the world. They miss out on being recipients of our complete and unconditional love–a love that exists there in surplus in all of us. Perhaps it is as simple as putting ourselves in the shoes of others to understand their actions and inactions better. Then once we have done this, putting ourselves back into our own shoes and giving ourselves a break, or giving ourselves the proper credit we deserve for having to deal with the difficult experiences in our life and for making it through the difficulties as best we could at the time.
Show compassion towards yourself–you are a constant work in progress. And in doing so, you will find your ability to love yourself, and the depth of your love for others, grow all the more as you feel less of the need to hold back from them. Most love is conditional, and it depends on what we receive in return for the love we give. But what happens when we no longer need to receive anything in return from others in order to love them?
Find compassion, love, and forgiveness for yourself today.
Questions to consider:
Why is it often harder to love ourself than it is to show love to others?
How can you help to grow your compassion and love for yourself?
Does the love you give depend on getting something back? How can we go about changing this requirement?
For further thought:
“Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life; let it be the day you act upon it.” ~Steve Maraboli