You can’t love anybody else unless you love yourself first.
Love is a complicated subject and most people get it wrong at first–some never get it right.
Oscar De La Renta, the famous clothing designer, who died last year when announcing a new perfume called “Live In Love” said he had been astonished to learn that that name not been registered.
He got to talking with a reporter on the nature of love.
De La Renta said,
I am always in love but first of all love starts with yourself. You cannot love someone unless you love yourself. Because love is about how you live your life. You cannot be madly in love with someone if you are unhappy with yourself.
LOVE AND HAPPINESS
He related it to happiness and said,
“Happiness has nothing to do with wealth. It has to do with your spirit. And you have to discover that spirit to discover happiness.”
He’s right, of course.
- You certainly can’t be happy unless you love yourself.
- You cannot love anyone else if you don’t love yourself.
- You can’t give away what you don’t have.
- If you don’t love yourself you can’t give that love to someone else.
People think they can love someone else even if they don’t love themselves.
In fact, they convince themselves that they are indeed loving persons because they “love” someone (although not themselves).
They think that although they themselves are unlovable (in their own minds and hearts) other people ARE loveable and they can love them.
(That’d be good, they think.) They feel they can connect in that way. They can love others even if they can’t love themselves.
What they have, or do, is not love, it is a bastardized connection based on inequality or yearning. It can’t be reciprocated unless the relationship is dysfunctional. Unfortunately, that is common. Pity can come back to the person who lacks self-love.
So can concern and a kind of mild affection but not real love, unless it is a faulty kind of love based on sympathy, and that’s not what is desired, is it?
And sometimes, what comes back to these people is discomfort, even disdain, because what they project is recognized by the intended love object, as false, or inadequate love or, simply, not real love but something else.
Sometimes, resentment can build in the loved one because the loved one does not feel real love but need coming from the “unlovable” one.
That need on the part of the loveless, turns into a silent (or not so silent!) demand for a return of the love they are trying to compete with the loved one.
It is not pretty. It gets worse.
One who does not love himself/herself cannot give real love but cannot receive love either. Why?
Because the “unlovable” one does not believe anyone else could love him or her (they know the “truth”–that they are unlovable. They “know” this! You can’t convince them they are worth loving.)
And, “knowing ” this to be true, then they suspect that any affection that comes to them is fraught with baggage. They think the people who say they love them are lying, mistaken, manipulative or stupid.
Otherwise they, too, would recognize that the would-be lover is unlovable and reject them.
Complicated, yes. But also simple.
You cannot love someone else if you do not love yourself. And you cannot accept love from another if you do not love yourself. To go even deeper, you cannot love what you do not know. Therefore, you cannot love yourself unless you know yourself.
Everything is centered in Self-Knowledge. There’s much more to this than I’ve written here. When you began to know yourself, you’ll discover how great you are! And then– and then– you will start to love yourself, if you don’t already.
If you already do love yourself, terrific, then you’ll learn more about you, always a good thing. Keep you out of trouble.
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