I get asked this question from time to time, so I want to address it here. Many people are interested in learning more about loving themselves, but are somehow feeling guilty about it at the same time.
Is Loving Yourself Selfish? The answer is No, It Is Not Selfish. In fact, it is one of the most generous things you can do for others.
If you don’t love yourself and just take care of others, sacrificing yourself, denying your own needs, and suppressing your wants, you might start to build some resentment. This resentment might come out in different ways: you might feel less patient or less compassion for others. You might become angry. You feel unhappy, making it harder to stay positive. If you continue on, you might get sick, and now you are really not able to take care of or be there for others anymore. On the contrary, others will need to start taking care of you. I have seen people get very ill (physically as well as mentally) by trying to sacrifice themselves. So what started out as a good intention ends up not helping, but adding a burden to others.
Loving yourself does not mean that you are full of yourself, conceited or don’t care about others. Self love means that you accept yourself, are compassionate with yourself, and empower yourself. If someone is arrogant or conceited it is often because they don’t have enough self love.
Taking care of yourself and loving yourself is one of the most loving things you can do for others. When you take care of yourself, you are increasing your capacity to take care of people you care about. You are able to be more patient, more compassionate, more present, have more energy, be happier and more positive. By taking the time to really nurture yourself and fulfill your needs and follow your passions, you are better able to motivate, inspire, spread joy, and share happiness.
You are not just doing this for yourself. You are doing this for your loved ones, for the people you care about, for everyone you touch with your life. It benefits everyone.
So if anyone around you wonders whether it is okay to take care of themselves by taking time to rest, saying ‘no’ to a request, spending some time away from their children or husbands, practicing a hobby, or taking some time off, please tell them that is not only okay, but it is important they do.
You need to take care of yourself first, so you can be there for others.
By loving yourself, you are able to bring more love to others.