Why You Must Love Yourself Before Loving Your Neighbor | A Rose in Bloom


"Love your neighbor as you love yourself" -Matthew 22:39


Love. It’s such a strong word with a different yet similar definition for everyone. It’s the only word with the power to transform us into something beautiful or tear us to pieces. When most people are asked to describe love, they will almost always describe a someone near and dear to their heart. This is a beautiful thing yet insufficient to our needs as human beings. Love encompasses so much more than we could ever fathom on a day to day basis. In fact, most people forget about one of the most important loves in life: themselves.




Rarely does anyone hear the word “love” with themselves in mind. Love is an essential element in all cultures and religions. Considering the quote above though, perhaps we have oversimplified the subject. Of course every human has a social responsibility to make other humans feel like they matter. This is not up for debate. After all, we are all wandering through winding, rough paths doing the best we know how so if we could all show some support for our fellow man, the world would be a better place. However, have you ever considered that perhaps, in order to show your love for others, you must first love yourself? 

When asked if you loved yourself, I am certain that many of you would feel like cowering into the pit of your belly, sinking from fear and confusion. When asked if we love who we are today (not who we want to be, or what we once were), it can feel like a fast food bag rolling through an empty parking lot – we're out of place with no direction home. We have no idea how to answer that question because we want to love ourselves, but at the same time do not want to appear self absorbed. Why is it that we associate a healthy self-esteem with vanity and arrogance? In an effort to weaken the human race, society has whispered from ear to ear the lie that self-deprecation somehow makes you more virtuous. This is just not true. After all, how can you help your brother remove the splinter from his eye when you have a plank in your own? Perpetually being expected to help with the splinter before you remove your plank will harbor Resentment for your friends, your family, and your community. The bricks at your base holding you up will start to crack and crumble. Resentment is a powerful evil.

With the arrival of Resentment, its friend Bitterness begins to chip away at our base, then our walls, and soon the roof caves in and we love no one at all. Instead of smiling at strangers in coffee shops, we forget to notice the world. We don't thank the person holding the door or the person preparing our latte. Instead, we forget to notice any of the beautiful imperfections that compose the score of life and we lose our love altogether.

You see, love must be practiced, just like a pianist will practice the gentle touch of the keys or a dancer will practice her balance. There is no better test subject than yourself. When we can wake up in the morning and can’t wait to see what little joys we can find hidden in our daily tangles, we are able to comb them away so others can enjoy the treasure. Beginning in this heartbeat, decide that you are worth your own love. Practice loving yourself with each breath and begin to feel it radiating from your body. Only when we all learn to love ourselves can we stretch and weave this world into the wonderful blanket that is love.

Because really, love is all that matters.

Follow

14 comments

  1. This is such a wonderful post! I think that self-love is the first step to loving other people, and I really need to work on it ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do! I hope you make showing some love to yourself a daily goal. :)

      Delete
  2. Self love is one of the hardest things I've faced in my life. I've always been a bigger girl and the people around me were small and skinny. I've begun to look at myself as a work in process. Someone that will never be complete, but gets better with time. It's really helped me to start loving myself and in turn, share that love with those around me.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you me? For ballerina standards I have always been big too. Stay tuned, because I am hoping to have a post next week on how I learned to love the body God gave me!

      Delete
  3. One needs to love oneself first! I remember a time, I couldn't go out without makeup. Now I can go bare faced and think nothing of it. I feel fine with or without. Whoever can't accept me for me I can do without. This was very beautiful.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so wonderful to hear, Kim. I personally love makeup, but I also love my face. The face we are born with is beautiful and I love to hear when a woman says she can confidently leave home without wearing a Hollywood shoot full of makeup. Congratulations!

      Delete
  4. This is a great post! I definitely need to love myself more! I think I'm a cool and nice person, but at times it can be hard to always love who you are. I think it's important to be kind to people and that kindness to others makes me love who I am.
    ~Sara
    Sincerely, Sara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heck yeah! You are a cool and nice person so feel free to reassure yourself. Loving that you are kind is totally jumping into the right direction!

      Delete
  5. This is such a great post. I am currently working on self-care and self love and it is fascinating that loving ourselves is just a concept that we are not brought up with. Loving ourselves is so important because we are the only person that we can actually impact 100% and it takes self-love to then also be open to loving others and giving back to those around us.

    Rae | Love from Berlin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Loving ourselves is so important because we are the only person that we can actually impact 100%..."

      This times one million. We can't change the world, but we can change how we affect the world.

      Delete
  6. Great post. It's so important that we love ourselves and take care of ourselves! We are just not brought up with loving ourselves and it's not something society is focused on either. But we really should be

    www.thesparklingdarling.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly - we aren't brought up with love ourselves. I will definitely be teaching my future children to have tons of self respect and self love. A healthy body starts with a healthy mind and healthy minds make the world a better place.

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

I am always happy to hear what you think and will get back to you as soon as I possibly can. Please, do not leave follow for follow or ask me to check out your blog, or any other form of spam. Simply leave a link and I will be happy to look when I get the time. :)

Copyright Elizabeth Hisle. Powered by Blogger.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Instagram