“We cannot give what we do not have.” That’s what author Walter Trobish asserts in his book “Love Yourself.” It also echoes Jesus’ words in Scripture about receiving and giving. We can only possess and give to others what is real inside of us.
In psychological terms, Trobish’ “loving yourself” is equivalent to unconditional self-acceptance. Needless to say, it doesn’t mean narcissism, arrogance, or conceit. To love yourself means to accept and celebrate yourself as you are. It involves coming to terms with those imperfect aspects of you that you cannot change.
I’m reminded of a young woman who literally sits around the house and waits for approval from her husband and five children. She frowns and gets moody whenever her husband and children show displeasure over the food she cooks or the words she says to them. For every act of service or sacrifice she does for them, she feels that they owe her a pat in the back or a nod each time.
Certainly, how tiring it is to sit around and waiting for approval from others. You work on approving and accepting “you,” whether or not others do that to you. You are the only “you” that you have. It is in your best interest to be the best “you” can be regardless of what other people think or how they see you. Work on loving yourself.
In the words of literary giant Walt Whitman, we are all here “to contribute a verse.” In order to love yourself, one way is to discover what makes you unique and further develop your strengths and talents. It demands responsibility to yourself to be a better “you.” With self-improvement, you’re then empowered to love yourself and give to others.
Until you love yourself and celebrate who you are, you will not be able to truly love anyone else. You can only love another to the degree that you’re able to do to yourself.