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What “Love Yourself First” Means

woman holding paper card saying love yourself first

To love yourself means to be in touch with how you feel, and then acting in a way that respects it.

To love yourself is not necessarily an emotion. It doesn’t obligatory mean you sit down and try to experience warm fuzzy feelings about yourself. It’s (also) about choice.

Let’s say there’s a corporate dinner being hosted by the company you work for. And let’s say you think poorly of such events, you dread attending them. You do not relate with them. They leave you uncomfortable and drain your energy. So you’d prefer not going. But you fear that not attending the event would probably give a poor impression to your coworkers and bosses, possibly undermining your position and image where you work for.

Attending the dinner would be the option that complies with norms and rules. This choice falls within the behavior generally expected from you. However, this is an act of disrespect towards what you feel. You take a route that you think it’s better, even though you feel in a different way. You’re saying to the Universe that, submitting to expectations and systems that are external to you is more important, more real, than what you feel inside.

But this is not true. What you feel inside is the most real and accurate guidance you have. Your inner connection should work as a guidance for you to act in the external world – not the other way around. You can make choices in the external world. You can affect some things, and change others. But you can’t change your Essence. Who you are is who you are. What you feel is what you feel.

The action that would most respect yourself, would be not attending the dinner. Making this choice would be loving yourself first. In other words, you would be taking the option that takes you in consideration as a priority before anything else.

I concede that life is not black and white. Perhaps not all situations allow you to remain comfortable within them, while alienating certain expectations and proceedings you don’t necessarily care for. Were you to wish to remain employed at that company, perhaps you wouldn’t be able to avoid attending at least some events.

You could, for example, accept to yourself that you don’t want to go to the dinner, while at the same time accepting that at that moment your best choice is really going and attending it.

This would be a, let’s say, “unstable” compromise. Unstable because two opposite alignments co-exist: (1) what you feel, and (2) what you choose. You don’t want to go, but you go anyway. But in this compromise at least you acknowledge what you feel within. You don’t dismiss it and pretend it’s not there. While at the same time accepting you did not have a better choice, or you weren’t capable of doing things differently.

Since you were still in touch with your inner reality, during the dinner you’d probably take more care in protecting your energy, and not demand too much of yourself. Perhaps you could quietly leave, once the bulk of the corporate “protocol” is done. As a result, the dinner probably wouldn’t be as taxing as it could have been.

The worst case scenario is when you dismiss or deny what you feel within, in your personal intimate relationship with yourself. At that point, you replace what you feel with what you think is best. You’re separating you from your true self. And since there’s no one else left to recognize who you really are (by feeling), you’ve become lost.

Loving yourself does not always imply extreme choices or isolationism. It’s okay if you can’t immediately and irrevocably shun away every unpleasant element of your life. To love yourself first simply means you’re mindful what you feel, and you do your best to honor it at all times.

Still, there comes a time you ultimately become saturated of compromising, enduring, and exposing yourself to multiple situations in life that don’t really respect your energy and your nature. You realize that all these situations do, is lowering your vibration, thus drawing endless amounts of similar situations where you place a lot of effort to gain relatively little, and never allowing you to truly be yourself.

When this point comes, this is when you leave the company to work solo. Or you found your own company, with your own values and aspirations. This is when you stop going places and attend events you don’t really want to go to. This is when you cease to spend energy with those who drain it. This is when you take charge of your life, and you do whatever is aligned with what you really want to do, instead of spending your energy on anything else.

You start actively making choices whose intent is to safeguard your energy, and as such, the quality of your life and all things in it.

How can you expect to feel good about yourself if you continually expose yourself to situations that do not honor you, and lower your energy? Loving yourself first is about protecting your well being, by managing the circumstances you allow in your life.

Every time you choose a profession or career based not on monetary concerns or what you think it would be appropriate, but on what goes in your heart, based on your genuine interests and passions, you’re loving yourself first.

Every time you do not attend an event or group – social, familiar, or cultural – that you don’t really wish to, you’re loving yourself first.

Every time you say No to a business proposal, a contract, or any kind of binding service agreement or legal situation, that you don’t really want to submit to, you are loving yourself first.

Every time you say No to a person that does not meet the minimum standards for how you wish to be interacted with, you are loving yourself first.

Every time you take the choice that regards how you feel in an higher esteem than whatever others think, or what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re loving yourself first.

Being ambiguous, undecided, or permissive regarding any of the above, will result in the opposite. You’ll allow in your personal reality an energy you don’t really desire from the heart. So at that point, by your Free Will, your vibration is now lower than before. You’re making a choice that is unloving of you. This is what Free Will means: your choices affect how high your personal energy is.

This is not about being unkind or rude. It’s assumed you’re already trying to be kind, positive, and fit constructively in the world. We’re not discussing abandoning all sensitivity and common sense. We’re discussing being more aligned with your sensitivity, and taking into account how you feel in all things in life. We’re at the point when you’re caring too much about others, and you start caring about yourself, first.

Even if you are unable to make a radical change and cut with a nefarious situation, you should accept how you truly feel about it, and hope that one day your circumstances will be able to change. In fact, for any circumstances to change, you always first need to acknowledge that you don’t want them. This will bring you a degree of peace, relaxation, and hope, even within a situation you don’t want to, and you can’t see any viable exit from. You must have hope that doors will open, eventually – even if you can’t see or conceive them at this time.

Simply by acknowledging how you feel inside, you are placing your Essence and inner connection above fears and external values, regardless of what these might be.

The reason why people often do what they don’t want to, and abide by cultural and societal pressure, is because of fear of not belonging. Fear of abandonment, fear of lack of support, fear of no one being there to help in a time of need. Fear of pain. Fear of not being loved. Fear of powerlessness. Fear of loneliness. Sometimes, it’s also because of concerns for one’s own quality as a human being: fear of being a negative person and hurting others. You try to be a good person, but you keep measuring your personal value by what others think, and by the rules of external systems.

Your fears are not illogical or meaningless. Each of us has a history of past trauma and negative experience, when we were exploring duality. This is where these fears com from. They aren’t imagination or inventions from the mind. Fear is where your lesson is. Fears are relevant, they come from somewhere.

But the key in overcoming fears is to face them. It’s to go against them, challenge them for a duel. Or better said, it’s to make the choice you really want even if fear tells you otherwise. Until you do this, fears control your life.

To face one’s fears, and still place one’s Essence and inner connection above them, is a courageous move. But that’s the beginning of the turning inward of the spiritual path, in a practical way.

You don’t just have inner conceptual ideas, that you hold to be true but without much relevance in “real life”, while still abiding by 3D obligations. Instead, you actually take practical, pragmatic steps in following your inner guidance, in order to be more true and more faithful to who you are. And so you tell the Universe:

I know all around me is really an illusion. So instead of governing my choices by the illusion, I will place myself in my truly appropriate role: the director of the illusion itself, and of my life.

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