“First you have to love yourself” Really?

November 17, 2009 — 7 Comments

“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.” – Lucille Ball

I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable with this philosophy; especially when it comes to relationships. Maybe it seems too much like a defense mechanism to me? If this is true, should there be such thing as altruism? Maybe my problem is with the word first? Maybe “also” would be a better choice? Or maybe “respect” would be a better word than love?

If you are a fan of this saying (or ones like it), can you educate me? What does your self-love look like? How has it helped you? I’m especially interested in any research you might have related to the topic.

Not a fan? Can you tell me why?

Thanks in advance to all for your feedback.

7 responses to “First you have to love yourself” Really?

  1. I do believe in this philosophy. If you don’t love yourself in any way, you will (unconscouisly) externalize/project it on other people you’re having relationships with. Especially when it’s a intimate relationship. And it has nothing to do with this people. It all has to do with you and not with them.. That’s my opinion.

  2. Thanks so much for your opinion. Can you tell me what “love yourself” looks like to you? What do you mean by that exactly? (Not an easy question, I know! :-) )

  3. I do know this, that to have someone truly love you, you need to give them the best of your self, and to do that, you must love yourself.

  4. I agree with the fact that a person needs to love themselves before they are able to fully love others. How can you love or nurture someone else until you love/nurture yourself? A person would not understand the concept. Love is an act of giving. It is not about you. So, take care & love YOU (inner child). Then, you will be ABLE to take care & love OUTSIDE of yourself…to completely love someone else like they deserve to be loved.

  5. All that comes to mind is that when you experience an abundance of it…your cup is overflowing, then you are ready to share! When you realize that neither you, nor they, are perfect. You accept yourself (& others) for who you are despite imperfections that exist. When you realize that everyone needs and deserves it, but not everyone HAS it (some to different degrees). When you are mature enough to understand that it’s a gift, not to be hoarded or stored away for a rainy day, but given away freely from day to day. Even if the love is not reciprocated, you understand that it’s given in the true spirit of giving…without expectation of receiving anything in return.

  6. Love is selfless, right? Well, it’s supposed to be, and it often is- in a healthy mind.

    If a person is unstable and doesn’t actually like themselves, then I’m not sure how much they’d have to actually give to someone else. I worry that they “give” at the risk of losing themselves in someone else. And I often see that women, men, anyone particular vulnerable who needs validation from others (to an extreme), finds they fall in love when in fact they are filling a void within themselves.

    So, I believe to love someone, you must very much cherish your core, like yourself, understand what is good about your own self, to be able to give. And when that occurs, one can give to a relationship and became “greater than just one.”

    This is not to say that those who are “down on themselves” cannot love. I tend to believe, however, that the love is not of a selfless nature nor of a healthy nature.

    None of this is validated except from what I see. I love the comments above from mlharr. Very nice.

    Thank you, Mr. Blake, for raising the question.

  7. Love yourself….if you don’t know how to love and treat yourself then no one else will. You must have respect for yourself in that love to, and acceptance, unconditional love of oneself.
    To me it means never saying..negative things about yourself, or putting yourself down. Stand up for yourself because all roads out of you are the same roads in to you!
    Self Love is not selfish ! selfish is not sharing, hording, eating a whole pie when there are others around.
    Self Love is saying to yourself..hey you..I love you, you are amazing, I love the way you are _____________ . Self love shines from you, and it shines to the world and shows them how to love you. Because truely if you don’t know how to love you…how can I?