“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”- Lucille Ball
We probably all know that it is important to “love thy neighbour”, to be nice to people and to treat them well. If we treat other people nicely, if we help them where we can when they need it, if we exchange pleasantries as we pass, if we look out for each other, the world is a better place, isn’t it.
It helps other people, and in a way it also helps us too, for if we become known as someone who is helpful and friendly, then people will be friendly to us and when we need help we are more likely to find people willing to help us out in return.
Why does this work? Is it just out of a sense of obligation “I helped you so you are obliged to help me?”
That is probably true for a very small minority of people, but when you think about it such “obligation” very rarely actually works. When you think about it, the much greater source of all of this is that the more you help others, love your neighbour, and project a general attitude of kindness, the more that will inspire other people (who are touched by being on the receiving end) to do the same to others, and so the little pockets of kindness and love radiate outwards like ripples on a pond.
The results of this are that a great many other people benefit, and there is a far higher likelihood of you being on the receiving end of love and help when you need it simply because there is so much being spread around.
When you pause to think of how such a community benefits, it’s pretty easy to see how people feel happier when those around them are being nice and helpful, kind and loving (in the widest sense of the word). It empowers each and every one therein, making life more enjoyable, often spurring those individuals on to attain greater things than they otherwise might be inclined to do.
And now picture for a moment what it might be like if there were one individual for whom you were not providing help where needed, to whom you were not expressing the love which you share with others. How might it be for that individual, seeing everyone else being treated so well, desperately hoping for some of that love and recognition, crying out to you for that help, but being resolutely ignored at all times?
I would guess that the individual would start to feel hurt, unappreciated and rejected, feeling that they were not worthy of love and help. And when you came to depend upon them for some help or love at some stage, how do you think they are likely to react?
Either ignoring you completely, or helping but half-heartedly at best.
Which is a lose-lose situation for both parties.
The reality for many of us is that we do know of someone who we treat exactly in that way, ignoring them, depriving them of our love, refusing to listen to their pleas for help – that person is ourselves.
And it’s a crying shame, because if you don’t look after yourself, you won’t have yourself on your team; and without you on your own team, how can you ever hope to be the outstanding success you truly can be in life?
The person who takes time out to appreciate themselves, to care for and help themselves, to show themselves that they love themselves; they are the people who have a really firm foundation upon which to build anything and everything they do in life. They know that by working with themselves they can overcome sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds, because they know that they can count on the unconditional love and support of the one who can help the most – themselves.
For when we know without question that we can count upon ourselves to support us unconditionally, we are in a much stronger position; when we know we are safe from any self-sabotage (which is perhaps the biggest danger we can face in our endeavours) we can concentrate on what we can do; when we know that when we need to find resources from within, they will be found, then we can proceed safe in the knowledge that we can count on them when the time comes.
By truly loving ourselves, we know we can face the world.
All those times we feel afraid or anxious or scared or worried; they are the moments we should pause for a moment and reassure our self that we do love our self and have our own best interests at heart; they are the moments when we should stop and listen to ourselves to find our why we fear or feel that way and to address the problems.
No team can hope to truly succeed if half the team is filled with doubt and feeling worthless; when we bring our own team of ourselves fully into alignment, we are so much stronger than we have ever been.
So go ahead, ask yourself what you need, ask yourself what fears you have and why you are afraid, work with yourself to help yourself and to reassure yourself that you do truly love yourself; the help and love you give yourself now will be repaid many-fold when you need to count on it, just as with the help and love you give others.