As I thought about love today, I wondered what it would be like to love ourselves as much as we love our boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, partners, etc. I wondered if we can love ourselves and consider our own feelings in the same ways that we do for another. Do you think that's possible? I think it is. Let me tell you why.
I really loved my (ex)boyfriend in Germany. I did lots of things for him and took his feelings and possible reactions into consideration all the time. I needed to make him happy so that he would be happy with me. When he was happy or pleased with me, I felt loved. But if he was unhappy or mad, I wouldn't feel loved. So to keep feeling loved, I kept doing more things to make him happy. At the time, I could say that I loved him more than I loved myself. I didn't consider loving myself because I needed to get that from him. I didn't even know that it was possible to love yourself like you romantically love another. I thought love was something that you got somewhere else - not from within.
Now, thirteen years later, I see that it's in my best interest to love myself as much as (and more than) I love others. I also see that it's in my best interest to consider my feelings and not push them aside to please someone else. And I'd like to have the love of a romantic relationship, but I also need to get love from within. Yesterday, a friend asked me if I loved myself. I said "Yes" in a strong, unflinching voice. And I meant every word of it.