Post written by Raymund Tamayo
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“And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Mark 12:31a
These are the very words of Jesus Christ Himself, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The second part of this command is what people always miss. Loving yourself.
Loving yourself is the only way that you can love others truly. At least, that’s what Christ said.
Accepting yourself for who you really are is necessary if you are to live a full and blessed life.
Listen carefully: this is not the kind of love that is brewed from selfishness or self-centeredness.
Jesus was referring to the biblical kind of love: selfless, unconditional, and compassionate.
Despite the common belief, loving one’s self is different from pride or narcissism.
It is not putting yourself on top of others, but rather having an outlook that you are whole, able to love others completely because you know that you are loved by God.
This means that you can only love yourself truly if you have understood fully how much God loves you.
Why is it dangerous to love other people more than yourself?
A person who loves other people more than he loves himself has very low self-worth.
He feels incredible pressure to be the hero of everyone and to please others in all circumstances that he has absolutely no time to nurture himself.
This perspective is dangerous because it usually results in feelings of rejection and despair.
A true love for self gives off healthy self-confidence, the kind that doesn’t depend on the praise of others. You love others without expecting anything in return.
Loving yourself is essential to live a peaceful life because, as Jesus said, you should learn to love others in the same way that you love yourself.
How to love yourself
1. Avoid negative self-talk
Some people have only themselves to blame for all the negativity that they are feeling.
Usually, they do this subconsciously, putting themselves down with repetitive self-depreciating remarks that go over and over in their heads: “I’m not good enough. It’s impossible. I can’t do this.”
Negative self-talk paralyzes a person. It keeps him from growing and reaching his full potential.
2. Allow yourself to make mistakes
Perfectionists are disappointed all the time. Trust me, I used to be one. I can’t stand it when other people make mistakes, and I can’t stand myself all the more whenever I commit them myself.
You have to understand that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail because making errors is actually a wonderful opportunity to learn.
What is not good is when you keep on making the same mistakes over and over again.
3. Get adequate rest
You’re not a robot, you’re a living person. So get sufficient rest and sleep.
Sleep refreshes your brain and replenishes your body. It repairs all the cellular damages suffered by the body whenever you are awake.
It is also important to have time in doing things that relaxes you and activities that you love.
Eat moderately and exercise regularly. Loving yourself means taking care of physical health as well.
Only because of God’s great love
Remember: we only love ourselves based on God’s unconditional love for us. And in response to this Great Love, we are able to share it to all we come in contact with and love them as well.
So don’t disregard yourself at the expense of pleasing others. God loves you so much and He also wants the best for you.