Loving oneself can occur and does occur when the awareness of its importance is brought to light. In the book, Pond a Connected Existence, the ten most important things that the average human requires are listed in the order of their importance. Self-love is number 8!
Self-love is not simple to achieve, especially for those who grow up in societies that do not value its importance. Nonetheless, people must strive to love themselves so that they can move on and love others.
What is self-love? It is described in the book Oneself-Living (soon to be published):
“Self-love, like [deep love of others], has six requirements: #1 obligation #2 appreciation #3 attraction #4 devotion. #5 flow #6 admiration
1 obligation to assist, support, and be available physically
2 appreciation of assistance, support, and character
3 attraction to inner and outer
4 held in close consideration at all times (devotion)
5 openness to surprise, acknowledgment of mortality, accommodation of cultures, and thoughtfulness
6 admiration for kindnesses, assistance, and acceptances done for others and for self”
The requirements of self-love
- obligation to assist, support, and be available physically: assist and support oneself when feeling unable to achieve goals or daily tasks and care for one’s physicality so that the body can be able to provide support for one’s tasks and goals.
- appreciation of assistance, support, and character: be able to see one’s assistance and support for oneself and be able to appreciate the variation of character traits (and not focus on negative traits).
- attraction to inner and outer: feel a sense of pull towards one’s physical appearance and one’s character traits. Especially for women, this requirement is important when the advertising and entertainment industries push unrealistic beauty indexes.
- held in close consideration at all times (devotion): remember to include one’s own needs when living life (not put other people’s needs first). Even a mother has to put her needs above her baby’s needs if she is going to tend to the baby properly. This requirement is not easy because it can be confused with being selfish, which it is not.
- openness to surprise, acknowledgment of mortality, accommodation of cultures, and thoughtfulness: all of these requirements are connected because they all require consideration of life’s realities.
- admiration for kindnesses, assistance, and acceptances done for others and for self: notice what one does for others (being kind, providing assistance, giving way when others’ needs require it) and applaud oneself for caring for personal needs and dreams.
Self-love is the basis for balanced living. Without it, one is always askew no matter how well one eats or exercises or volunteers.
“When we …are able to heal ourselves then only are we ready to help others.” by Ann Wigmore in the Naturama living textbook.