To love others you must love yourself

Leo Buscaglia

Loving yourself

Many of us have had those relationships where we cared about someone dearly, but they simply didn’t believe it.  They didn’t believe it because they didn’t feel like that about themselves.   I know because I was in that place too.   When you can’t say the words “I love you” to yourself.  You do not believe someone when they tell you those words either.   The reverse is the same.  You can’t truly feel like that about someone until you know what it feels like.  You can only know what it feels like when you love yourself. 

How can you love someone when you don’t know what it feels like?  You might want someone to love you, to replace that feeling missing in you.  It’s possible you need to have someone care for you in a variety of ways.  You may want intimacy with someone.  Wanting and needing someone is not loving someone.  Until you know what it feels like, you will look back and realise to love others you must do so for yourself first.  

Learning to care for yourself

In my article, I set out some simple techniques which over time can instil the caring and attention you need in yourself and for yourself.  This involves mirror work,  healing and learning to use our emotions to feel better about yourself.  There are also some other practices which can help you to become more intimate with yourself and care more internally.   These consist of:

  • Accepting oneself
  • Not judging self
  • forgiving self

If you come from a place where you don’t feel cared about, it can take years to reinstall the caring part of you for self.  You may need to seek some expert advice.   However, once you have created that kind, caring space inside of you, you cannot help but extend that to others.  It is the beginning of being able to love yourself and others.  

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