Loving ourselves matters.
When we don’t love ourselves,
We don’t value ourselves.
We don’t matter.
For years I thought the Bible said that we should love others more than we love ourselves. Then there is this concept of original sin, which says there is something basically wrong with us. Or the concept of shame that we are so flawed that we are so wrong at the core that there is no hope of redemption. So how did we get all this wrong? Where did we lose the concept that we have value? We are whole and complete and worthy just because we exist, that God loves us and that God created us in God’s image?
If I were a dictator, the easiest way to gain control of others would be to have them believe that they have no intrinsic worth. The dictator has value but then everyone else, including you, does not. Because we consider the dictator all powerful and always right, we might say, “I’ll do anything you say, I’ll undergo suffering and abuse because I am not worthy of anything else.” As a dictator that would be the easiest way for me to gain power and to take yours away and I don’t even need military force.
Think of the baby elephant chained to a rock. The baby elephant knows he can only go so far. As the baby elephant grows, no longer baby elephant could easily move the chain that has held him in the past but because of his conditioning, now he does not even try to move.
When we don’t love ourselves we live life as a victim.
So what’s all this have to do with me, you’re asking. Self love, self empowerment, self esteem, self efficacy are all interrelated. When we feel that we are not worthy of love, of loving ourselves, we act differently. we give up our power. We don’t believe in our ability to make a difference or to even be in charge or our own lives. We lose hope. Worst of all we settle. We settle at best for a life of mediocrity, an unfulfilling life, half lived. We constantly look for things outside of us to make us feel alive, to make us feel loved and worthy. We see ourselves as less than permanently, with no hope for a different outcome.
Sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it? Live doesn’t have to be this way.
Self Love is Radical
Why is self love radical? When we love ourselves, no longer are we coming from a place of less than. No longer do we give our power away to others or do we feel unworthy of love. We are free to ask for what we want. We recognize that others are our equal. No longer do we allow others to take our power away and have power over us. We are free to be our authentic selves. We are free to use our talents and gifts to play big in the world and to make a difference for ourselves and others. this is what personal empowerment is all about. Self love is empowering.