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"And How To Love Me" 

By:Tim Taylor 

For most of the world, a heavy fixation on one's self is seen as an undesirable trait. We're encouraged to seek to be a helper of our fellow man. But is it possible to find merit in seeking to please your self? It's been said the greatest act of love is the giving of one's self on the behalf of another. Can seeking your own well being rank in the lofty heights with charitable acts toward others? Some would question how could I live with myself if I don't make it a habit of considering others before my own wants. In this generation, we're told to have a strong self image and it's okay to praise yourself. So where's the balance in all of this? We all can't resist it and have fallen allure to the desire to know "What about me?" Well, it may surprise you that the balance tends to be an unequal portion in one direction.

Me, myself and I are a formidable team. At the moment of birth, as helpless as we are, all actions support the belief that everything does orbit around our needs. We're protected, clothed, fed, nurtured, and loved on in a way that makes it difficult to consider others. That level of care is expressed toward most of us for many years; and rightfully so. We are being prepared for a greater goal...Reciprocity. We are conditioned from a very early age that when we grow up, we are to do the same thing. Prepare ourselves to be an asset to society. That includes tending to the welfare of yourself. If you can't love, appreciate and cherish the gift that is expressed in your own personhood, there's no way you will respect another's.

Psychiatrists and psychologists use the term "self hate" when someone lives a destructive lifestyle. So, even the experts agree you should have some level of self awareness that includes affording yourself the basic needs of life and if possible get a few wants fulfilled. So what does loving myself look like? Well, for starters, it should be void of a feeling of being undeserving of someone else acts of kindness toward you. If you've done something that pleases someone else whether it be a talent, an act or just because of your character traits, don't discount the benefit you were able to give another individual.

Accepting praise from others does not mean you're not being humble. Lack of humility is when you assume no one else played a part in your being able to pull off that notable deed. If the only honor you're able to give is to the family you were born into that passed on certain traits through DNA, there's always someone who equally deserves recognition for your acts. But yes, you should expect and readily receive recognition and praise for your actions. You're seen as a person of integrity when you accept responsibility for your negative actions. In like manner, you should embrace the good that came about from your positive actions.

You love yourself rightly by getting the best education your money can buy and securing the job that gives you the best overall satisfaction. Don't live life miserable for anyone. Now that's not to say you live in a vacuum and your actions don't affect anyone so you can say or do what ever you want. Taking care of yourself is a part of making yourself a credit to society. Prisons, mental wards and hostile homes are filled with people who are vicariously expressing their anger with themselves through the world. What I mean is they're angry with themselves for not properly preparing themselves for the life they wanted to live so they angrily take it out on everybody else they meet. This could've been avoided if they would've taken the time early on to invest in themselves. Then the rest of the world wouldn't have to suffer as a result.

By loving myself, I'm able to experience the awesome feeling of gratitude through helping others realize their goals and dreams. I note again, If I don't care about myself, I wont care about anyone else. Parents and guardians trained us by the necessity of nurturing us when we couldn't take care of ourselves. In return, when we're able, we show our appreciation to others by giving that same nurture to their desires even if it's nothing more than giving that voice of motivation. Selfish acts that only involve yourself show that you really don't love yourself at all. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, you're depriving yourself of the opportunity to experience the joys derived from the giving of yourself to help someone else. 

Because we live in a social environment, loving yourself will always come with helping others. If you're an introvert that only thinks of yourself, that sentiment will be picked up by others. They will respond negatively to it. You will resent it and act out accordingly. It will have a negative impact on your life and you will be miserable as a result. It amazes me how a parent can say they love their child so much that they put the kid on a pedestal and admonishes the world to bow to their kid. Well, what usually happens is people recognize where the problem is. It's the parent that idolizes the kid and expects everyone else to do it, too. Typically, most could care less about the kid, but to get at the parent in the best way possible, they target the most valuable thing in that parent's life. You guessed it, the kid.

They go on to make that kid's life a living hell all because the parent refuses to grow their kid in the real world and let them know that as much as they love them, the Sun doesn't rise and set around them. So, causing pain to the kid creates a greater pain for the parent because they wont grow their kid up to be socially responsible and society heavily frowns on that. Pulling the kid out of public arenas doesn't help. You only prolong the inevitable. Once that kid gets a taste of the real world, it'll be a wakening of the rudest proportions. So, since no one else is going to treat your kid like that, it's best to let your kid know that you do that because you love them but don't expect that beyond your boundaries.

Yes, loving yourself is deeply rooted in the involvement of others. It's a team effort. If you get others to love you, that pays dividends in you getting personal satisfaction in choosing such great people to surround yourself with. That makes you cherish them that much more. Properly loving yourself doesn't repel people. On the contrary. It opens the door for others to flood you with their equally charming personalities. So  get out there, makes some friends and love yourself!