Love Yourself First
Of all the nonsense going on out there, this one is the most widespread and the most dilusional. ''Love yourself first and then everyone else will fall in line''.
I hate to break this to you, but there is no single person on the face of this planet that does not love themselves. It is innate and deeply ingrained in you and if it wasnt for this, you'd starve yourself to death or commit suicide or be a saint or a hero or all of the above combined.
Since- hopefully- none of the these are happening in your life right now, let us assume that you and me and everyone else on this planet love themselves dearly and normally and that what we falsely attribute to 'not enough self love' is simply a case of 'not enough confidence', not enough drive' or 'not enough guts to go out and do stuff'.
No, you don't need to 'Love yourself first', because you 're obviously doing that all your life and you'll keep doing it until the day you die. You cannot simply recycle the love you already have for yourself because at a certain point you are bound to run out.
Nor do you need to 'Love yourself more', because as we've seen we're all born with innate feelings of self love and adding more on to what's normal means you'll end up being a narcissistic asshole at worst, cut off from reality at best.
We need love from other people, my friend.
Not just WANT IT, NEED IT TOO.
No matter our age, sex, status or ideals, we need love from other people. Period. See what happens to kids who are unloved and have all their other needs met. They wither. And sometimes die out of pure lack of love. Ditto for everyone else, young and old alike.
Love is our fuel. And if we cannot or won't get it from other human beings, we overcompensate with our pets.
So this means we just have to wait until someone or many come along and fill us with love? Or, if that's not happening, get ourselves 67 cats and be done with it?
No way. (Though the 67 cats part sounds like great fun to me!)
The answer is going out and loving some!
First off, because it's fun and immensely fulfilling.
Secondly, because it's the only way we can get some of the love we need back. That's how it works. You outpour love , not just to the world in general, but to particular people that show up in your life, then you get the love you need back.
Wait a minute, you're saying. ''I've loved and loved all my life and yet all I got back is assholishness, bitterness and broken dreams and tears. Where's the getting back part?''
My friend. Again, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but usually what we deem as love is selfishness and/or codependency cloathed in the cloak of love. What most of us mean by 'loving' is rarely unselfish and certainly not altruistic, but simply a means of trying to fulfill our own needs through another being, then naming it as love and getting pissed off for not getting back what we'd have liked to receive in exchange for what we are offering.
That's not love. That's bartering. And there is a reason bartering became obsolete and got replaced by money currency exchange; one of the parties always felt being taken advantage of.
Love has nothing to do with bartering.
Love means giving knowing fully well you might never get it back from the same person and yet going on loving.
Then why should I do it?
For the fun of it.
Because it gives you pleasure to love.
Because you get happy doing it.
Because the more you love, yes, even the undeserving,
the greater your capacity for love and the happier you get.
And because eventually what you give out will get back to you fivefold, even if it's not from where you initially outpoured your love ( no bartering, remember?).
The more you love, the more you'll be loved back,
but sometimes not from where you wanted to.
Don't get overattached as to where love will come from.
Don't be a controlling freak. Let love and let life.
And that's how loving works.