We heard this often in our spiritual community that we should take good care of ourselves and love ourselves. We also learn from all the relationship experts that in order to be able to meet the love of our life, we first should be able to love ourselves.
Society and our culture primed us quite a bit to the contrary though. When we grew up and learnt from our parents, teachers and religious institutions, we were told we should put aside our own needs and put those of others first. We practiced this dictate for decades until we found that we were full of resentment; our life was deprived of joy, and the communication with our loved ones was often lost.
The truth is that we can never really love anyone or share our joy of life if we don’t know how to take care of ourselves first, or if we don’t know how to satisfy our own needs. The easiest way to put it, how can we take care of others if we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves? How can we satisfy our loved ones’ needs if we don’t even allow ourselves to satisfy our own needs? How can we share our life and our joy with our loved ones if we are constantly sick or not feeling well?
But society and the cultural institutions can only lead you astray for so long. As the days and years go by, we hear our soul scream out loud. Actually, the problem statement becomes sooner or later obvious when we find ourselves lashing out at our loved ones after years of self-abuse.
The alternative is so obvious in hindsight. When we debut a new journey and make it a priority to take good care of ourselves and satisfy our own needs we can literally hear our soul cheer with joy. All our hatred and resentment disappears like fog in the morning sun. At this point - even though our loved ones don't do anything differently - we feel that we are full of love toward them. And we have this eagerness to explore life together!
Life is full of fun if you allow it! What are your needs? What kinds of activities make you feel joyful? Try to put yourself first from time to time to feel the energy that abounds in you. You deserve all the love and joy in your life, just as your loved ones do!
By Su Zhen