In most societies and cultures across the world, one is made to feel guilty, if one thinks of oneself before others. It’s like one has committed the most selfish act in the world. It has been made a moral duty and responsibility to take care of others first and think of one’s well-being and happiness last. Especially in the case of parents, housewives, elder siblings, social workers, healthcare workers, and all are made to feel guilty if they do any act to pamper themselves. They have been tuned to think of others’ happiness, joy, and laughter but not of their own. Their job it seems is only to give love but not feel love.
Even between lovers and married couples, one is made to feel that loving oneself is a selfish act and it’s all about giving love. How can you give something when you don’t have it in you or you don’t feel it inside you? Until and unless you love yourself the way you are with all your characteristics, you won’t be able to give love to anyone else.
A few years back, I was going through the worst or the darkest phase of my life. I was totally down in the dumps. The only thoughts in my mind were that “I was useless” “I am good for nothing” “I have wasted my life” and all the negative thoughts possible. However, in this dark phase, I would pray to my spiritual master and shout at him, and would question him for throwing me into the deep dark hole. One day during my ramblings with the spiritual master, I heard a voice echoing all across the room—“Love Yourself”. I don’t know whether it was my inner voice or God’s voice or whatever but that was the message I got. Still, it took me months to find out what it means to ‘Love Yourself’.
Throughout our life, we are never taught to love ourselves. We find it so difficult to comprehend this thought and the moment we try to do something kind and loving to ourselves, heavy guilt pangs strike us. Instead, we are extremely harsh on ourselves and constantly telling ourselves that we are not good enough and that we don’t deserve all the happiness, beauty, joy, and laughter in the world. And that the first thought should be of others not of us.
Even the young ones who pamper themselves with loads of shopping, playing video games, indulging in spas and all have this constant thought nagging in their minds that they are not loved and are not enough. They try to fill this void with designer labels, gadgets and gizmos or indulging in drugs and violent behaviour. Even the reason most youngsters take to drugs is that they don’t love themselves.
In this, we are taught to think positive thoughts. So we try to train our minds by putting in positive affirmations. However, in the back of our mind, we know that these are fake positive affirmations because our very core is devoid of love. We don’t trust ourselves and we don’t love ourselves. With this love even the most positive affirmations don’t work.
Louise Hay in her book, ‘You Can Heal Your Life’, writes that the most common reason for breast cancer in women is that they neglect themselves and are always thinking of others’ happiness and welfare. In giving love and care to others they totally get devoid of love. This manifests into a disease.
Louise hay writes, “Life is never stuck or static or stale. Whatever you choose to believe comes true for you. You can change your life by changing your thoughts. Uplifting sentiments for the lovelorn, is not unrequited love of another at all, but of our own selves.” The Hay doctrine is one of self-love and self-worth as the non-negotiable keys to positive change. So go out and cry aloud, “I love myself just the way I am.” Or as Hay would say, “In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete.”
In fact, if you are devoid of self-love even the law of attraction doesn’t work. That’s why you have so many gurus and teachers talking about how the law of attraction works, because it has not worked for most. We don’t realize that repeating a line is not enough if we don’t love ourselves. Without self-love there can’t be any positive emotions inside us and without positive emotions inside the affirmations look false.
- The whole process is to first accept yourself the way you are and accept all the thoughts that come into your mind. It would be better to meditate daily and observe our thoughts and fill our body and mind with love. Yes, it’s extremely important to take care of others but make sure to love yourself first. Let others comment, taunt and abuse you. Don’t be shaken by the abuse. Be sure to know your real Self and that you are a part of the divine and that you are loved and taken care of. Don’t be trapped by what the mind says to you. Know your real worth. ”The infinite God lies within me and I belong to the infinite.”
Love yourself. Pamper yourself.
Travel. Shop. Dine.
Fill yourself with love.