Someone recently responded to a post encouraging self-love. This struck me as something incredibly insightful. Jesus’s teaches first and for most to love God. Then second to loving others as you love yourself.
I think in order to love others we have to be loving ourselves. For we cannot fully accomplish loving others if we are so self sacrificial that our own basic needs go unmeet. We are human. We have physical bodies and physical, emotional needs. If we neglect these physical, emotional needs we will eventually become unable to love God or others.
There are 2 extremes I have experienced myself but also in others. Extreme 1 is when a person is so self centered that all of there time and resources go into self-fulfillment and self love. Extreme 2 is when a person is so other focused that they neglect themselves to the point they are almost abusing themselves. Neither of these extremes is what God wishes of us.
Self love is essential but love from others is also needed for self love. If we are so isolated from others that we are no longer receiving love or are stuck in an unhealthy relationship that is not providing love than we will be unable to self love. Self love sometimes means you leave an unhealthy relationship or reach out to others for help. I feel like this aspect of self love was never explained to me.
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
So to those who struggle with self love, may God teach you how to provide love for yourself but remain other focused. May he show you where your boundaries should be placed and may he lead you to people that will provide you love. And to all, may we never become so focused on ourselves that we stop loving others around us. For the only way to start a healthy cycle of love is to love God and others. Amen