Love yourself first…

“If you truly love yourself, you’re never really alone.” (Charlotte Gale, the new owner of Duck Ledges Island) The quote appeared in a story about Charlotte buying Duck Ledge Island, Maine, after meeting the requirement to spend a night alone on the island in the tiny cabin that is there. Her quote came in reply to a question from the seller about whether she felt alone in the tiny cabin on the little island in the middle of nowhere. The seller liked her answer and felt that she was the right person to whom to pass the island.

I remember in my corporate life taking a class called “I’m OK: you’re OK”. It was based upon the book of the same title by Thomas Harris. The class focused upon how to recognize the different personality types that one might encounter and how to deal with them. Whether we realize it or not that is what we do every day in life. Life is transactional. The key here is the first line – I’m OK. You must understand and be OK with who you are in order to deal with (have transactions with or even love) others.

Many people spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out what others are thinking or what is motivating them to do what they do. I’m sure that you know people like that. That seemingly inquisitive bent is not so much driven by real interest as it is by those people being unsure of themselves. They don’t love who they are, so they keep looking for examples from other people, hoping to find someone that they can be like. Their thought process is “I don’t love me; can I be like you?”

People wandering around in this state often use the phrase, “I’m trying to find myself.” The truth is that you are not lost, you just don’t love yourself, yet. There is a popular TV show called, “This is us”. It is premised upon following the lives of relatively ordinary people. Perhaps we should imagine ourselves as being a new show called, “This is me.” You’re gonna love the main character. In this show the main character is comfortable with who they are, how they look and how they act towards others. The main character loves themselves. Put yourself in that role.

I have posted here a few times about forgiving yourself and about loving yourself. I think it is critical that you accept and love who you are before you can even try to love someone else. That even includes loving God. If you cannot or do not love yourself, you will end up blaming God for your perceived shortcomings. Maybe that is a chicken or egg conundrum. Perhaps, if you truly accept God’s forgiveness and unconditional love for you, that will allow you to forgive and love yourself. Try it.

I realize that this sounds like overly simplistic advice, but the truth is that it is that simple. Stop hating yourself. Don’t try to be someone else. Love yourself first. You will find that just by being real and getting comfortable being who you are, others will be more comfortable being with you. You may also find that others who are around you stop faking it, too. The world is a simpler and nicer place when everyone doesn’t have to remember all of the lies that they were trying to live.

Love God, love yourself, love life.

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