It’s OK To Love Yourself
Why It’s OK to Love Yourself Unconditionally
I love myself.
There you go, I’ve said it.
Until a few weeks ago, those words would never have entered my head, let alone exited my mouth, but things have changed… for the better. I now believe having genuine love for myself is not only healthy, but essential.
Before I tell you why, let’s go back in time so I can explain why most of us find saying “I love you” so cringeworthy.
Love thy neighbour
The Bible tells us (Matthew 22:37-39) to love your neighbour as you love yourself. And, throughout history, people did. It was, after all, a matter of survival.
But around ninety years ago, with the advent of the consumer society, things changed. People began to place high value on owning things and started to rate their friends and neighbours not by who they were, or what they stood for, but by what they could afford to buy.
For almost a century, advertisers have told us that we’re not good enough until we own the latest car, fridge, or skin cream. And we have all, whether we care to admit it or not, come to accept what they say. This toxic drip feed has worked its way into our subconscious minds and depleted self-love, self-esteem, and self-respect. We no longer love our neighbours in the same way, because, as a society, we no longer love ourselves. We can’t, because as long as we buy into all this marketing nonsense, we will never be complete, ‘perfect’, or fulfilled.
A sad state of affairs
For me, this is a very sad state of affairs and one I wish to not only address but change.
A few weeks ago, I begun to live my life unapologetically as me. I stopped saying and doing what I thought was expected of me — which at first felt really weird as I’ve been a conformist my whole life — and I started to put my needs first. That’s not to say I’ve become a selfish prat or reverted to an insolent toddler; I still care deeply about others, but I’m no longer living a lie, moulding my voice, thoughts, or behaviour to ‘fit in’.
I’ve also silenced that very annoying voice in my head. The one that constantly judges and criticises my every move, dragging me deeper and deeper into negativity and self-loathing.
A slap across the face
So how did I do this? Well firstly, I gave my inner critic a big slap across the face! Wow, did it feel good.
I stopped listening to what she had to say (and yes, for me, she is a ‘she’). And I went overboard saying nice things to myself. “I’m better than good enough, I’m amazing…”.
I developed ‘good pride’ in myself – something I believe is healthy and not in any way egotistical.
And I stopped caring what other people think of me because I realised their thoughts were completely out of my control.
Unconditional love to love yourself!
In doing all the above, I developed unconditional love for myself. Something I’ve never had.
I’m in a great place, I feel powerful, genuine, and free. Free to do what I want when I want. Free to be me.
I realise this is easier at my time of life. I’m not sure I would have had the guts to do this before, but I really wish I had. And while I’m not going to shout out from the rooftops that I’m completely and utterly in love with myself, I’m sure as hell going to tell myself that every morning in the mirror.
And do you know what? By loving myself more, I’m able to love others more too, so let me leave you with this from Richelle E Goodrich:
“Love thy neighbour as thyself, Christ said. Neither more than nor less than, but as thyself. It seems that to love thy neighbour whole-heartedly, one must love thyself whole-heartedly. Without self love, it is a tricky task to try and love others.”
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Books by George Jerjian
- Three fundamental ways our lives change in retirement - October 14, 2019
- A retirement that’s more like winning a lottery?Three ways to help make that happen - September 16, 2019
- My American dream - September 15, 2019