The Dilemma of Self-Love & Being Selfish
By The Golden Space Indonesia
Many of us, especially those who grew up in Indonesia, believe that we must put others first before us. It is the myth that has turned into the norms where your happiness comes from making your loved ones happy. We were led to believe that it is such a noble act of selflessness to sacrifice our happiness for the sake of someone else’s happiness, especially our family. We think we love our parents so much we let go of our dreams to fulfill their expectations about us. We think we love our children so much we stay in a dysfunctional marriage. How does that work out? Is everyone genuinely happy in the end?
Many of us forget this simple logic:
If you cannot read, how can you teach someone else to read?
Therefore, if you want to truly give love to someone, you need to be able to give that love to yourself first!
Yet the concept of loving yourself first or self-love is something that is still foreign for some people. We may perceive the act of self-love as selfishness, because we have not understood why we need to love ourselves first!
Here’s a list of why self-love is important and how it is the exact opposite of being selfish!
1. Self-love means you honor the Divine
You are given this life, this body, this breath by God or the Universe (or whatever you believe in). Loving yourself, putting yourself first, and honoring your heart, mind and body is the way you honor the Life-Giving Force who still gives you the opportunity (even until this very second as you’re reading this) to find your own happiness, to heal from your sickness, to pursue your dreams, to live a more meaningful life… anything you want! So, honor this God-given opportunity of you being alive by honoring yourself first!
2. Self-love means you walk the talk
When you know how to give love to yourself, naturally you will be able to give love to others UNCONDITIONALLY. When you have finally loved yourself, you will be the living proof of the love itself. Yes, you will be the EMBODIMENT of love! You’ll set an example for others to also love themselves first. Isn’t it beautiful when we can allow others to be happy on their own terms without forcing our definition of happiness to them?
3. Self-love means you love others
Only after we fill ourselves with love, then we can transfer this love to others. If you don’t love yourself, you WILL unconsciously EXPECT other people to give you that love. You WILL expect your parents, spouse, children, friends, etc to love you, respect you, appreciate you, and thank you for what you’ve done for them. When you sacrifice your happiness in the name of loving others, you have unconsciously trapped them to return the favor. Without loving yourself first, the love that you give to others will be conditional or transactional and THAT is selfish. Because true love should not bind. True love does not ask. True love sets one free. True love is unconditional love. And it is OUR job to give the unconditional love to ourselves first.
Transform the way you love into unconditional love by learning to love yourself first in ALIVE 2020 on 7 November 2020! Because, as RuPaul perfectly puts it, if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you’re gonna love somebody else?
Can I get an “Amen”?!
Experience our sessions transformative speakers in ALIVE Relationship pillars: Finding Trust in a Modern Relationship, Healthy Relationship Dynamics, Intimacy Beyond Sex, The Joy of Parenthood, Overcoming Guilt & Expectations, Making Peace with Grief and Incredible Me! (For children)