I HATE IT when people tirelessly repeat the age-old adage, “You have to love yourself first before you can love anyone else.”
First of all, I DO love myself. (What are you people who tell me that trying to insinuate?)
And anyway, that’s not the issue of why I’m so lonely. If I didn’t love myself, I’d go right back to being used and abused by someone who says he loves me but doesn’t know that real love is putting the other person before yourself.
The reason I’m lonely is because I’m not going to be with someone who doesn’t love me as much as I love myself. I love myself too much to let myself be treated less than I deserve.
And when I say, “I love myself,” I don’t mean, “Oh look at me, I’m so spectacular, all the men should be tripping over themselves to get in line for a chance with me.” I mean, I truly appreciate the whole package that God made: my passionate heart, my yielded spirit, my loyal soul, my ENFJ personality, and my imaginative mind.
I am strong because of what the Lord allowed me to go through. I am beautiful because I am made in His image. I am aware of my flaws and I’m working on them. I am wise because I have learned from my mistakes. I can laugh because I trust God with my future. I am worthy because Christ died for me. I am precious because He loves me and chose me before the foundation of the world. Yes, I am a queen because I am the bride of Christ the King.
Admitting out loud that I need someone else by my side is not weakness, dependence, or a lack of being comfortable when alone with myself… it’s wisdom that I am a social, relational being that has a God-given desire for intimacy and connection.
And I do like to spend a quiet evening by myself now and then to recharge my batteries but I’m an extrovert and being so I need lots of interaction, affection, and closeness with like-minded people.
I want to share a concept with you for a moment that might just blow your mind: We don’t learn to love in a vacuum. One is not born knowing how to love. You’re born knowing nothing except I’m hungry and there’s a bright light in my eyes. It is through the nurturing of your family that you learn to accept love and to give it back. Therefore, relationships are essential to teach you how to love yourself, not the other way around.
1 John 4:19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.”
In loving us, He taught us that we’re lovable. You learn to love yourself by a being a lover of others. As the song by Ne-Yo goes, “Had no example of a love that was even remotely real. How can you understand something that you never had? Girl, let me love you until you learn to love yourself.”
All you need to love another person is the decision to seek their greatest good above your own.