Ep. 40 Is It Wrong to Love Yourself?
Have you ever thought it is wrong to love yourself? Where does that thought even come from?
It's a thought that holds so many people back from loving themselves. There are many places this can originate, but let’s touch on a few.
One of the most common places is people in your life. People who have communicated directly or indirectly that you're unlovable - or that you're only lovable “IF.” IF you meet whatever criteria they've set that makes you lovable, per their opinion.
Another place can be in religions. In some religions, a common communicated thought is that it’s sinful to focus on yourself - that it's wrong to put effort and attention towards loving yourself.
In a similar fashion, some service-based organizations applaud when someone gives so much of themselves with no regard to the harmful implications that is causing the person.
One of the leaders in an organization I was involved in once said, “I'll sleep when I'm dead,” and that was applauded. I remember thinking, “That person is so right! I really need to step up how much I’m serving.”
I trained myself to focus completely on give, give, give and serve, serve, serve, serve. It’s no surprise that burnout is so common in those types of scenarios.
These messages are rooted in one or more of the following: control, fear, misused ideology or misunderstood ideology.
They result in a distorted and unseen true view of yourself because others in the world communicate you are unlovable, only lovable “if”, or not to be thought of at all.
Oftentimes the impacts are only discovered through deep reflection since these messages are often communicated indirectly.
Sometimes person/organization communicating these messages may not even realize it themselves until they take a very deep look.
The messages result in an imbalance of love and respect. The answer is not to only love yourself, nor to only love others. The key is finding a healthy balance that allows you to do both well. A balance that allows you to love and serve yourself and others.
This doesn't need to be true every single moment of every day. Instead, it needs to be true when looked at for an average amount of time, such as every couple of weeks or a month.
It's a balancing act on these check-ins to see where shifts are needed.
Yes, someone can go too far in that balance to the point where they are mainly only loving and serving themselves. But most likely since you are reading this right now, that means you don't need to worry about that anytime soon. Most likely you are following Courageous Worth because your love for yourself is in somewhat of a deficit.
Thus it will be a while before you could potentially get to a point that you need to review that balance. If or when that day comes, then just check-in with yourself and make adjustments as needed.
Challenge: Do some self-reflection to is if any part of you believes it is wrong to love yourself and where that belief came from. In the next episode, I'll tell you how to let go of that belief.