Do you believe the saying, The only way to be able to love someone else is to love yourself first? And, does that mean if you don’t love yourself, you can’t really love another?

People don’t like to think of themselves as lacking in self-love; they might even reject the notion that this could be what might be preventing them from having what they want in life … a true love, a nice body, the money to live a life of comfort, etc.

When I speak about lack of self-love, please understand this is not a 100% of the time behavior, anymore than any other behavior or feeling is. But repeat patterns of self-loathing, and it’s cumulative affect on how we act, have a long term impact on how we feel about ourselves and, therefore, how we relate to others. So, before dismissing the concept, ask yourself these questions, which are examples of self-loathing:

  • Do I care what other people think of me, more often than I like to admit, so I do things to please them?
  • Do I feel I “have” to have the best car, expensive clothes, go to the finest restaurants, etc., even if I can’t afford to do so?
  • Do I believe it’s useless to try to lose weight, believing no diet ever works anyway?
  • Am I sometimes my own worst critic, and often think I have to do things perfectly?
  • Do I stay with him (or her), even though I know this person is not really good for me; worried that I won’t find anyone else to love?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it does suggest a lack of self-love, or even self-loathing. Fear is at the core of this behavior. It can be fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being loved – or even liked – by another, fear of not deserving to have what you say you want in life, etc.

Now don’t start to feel badly if you are beginning to see something that might be true for yourself. Actually, berating yourself is just another example of self-loathing!

Acknowledging this, and being aware that you are acting out of fear, will enable you to stop and observe your feelings and behaviors. This is the first step in your Freedom inquiry. The Freedom Zone: Your Gateway to Love, Liberty and Happiness will guide you in ways to help you shift the behaviors that limit your self-love. And when you love yourself, you can truly love another.