I hear this saying all the time.
I read it in magazines.
I see it on television.
I am told this phrase when seeking life advice.
Based on the amount of times I have heard this expression I started to believe it.
Maybe I don’t give myself the time and attention I deserve?
Maybe I am too involved in helping other people that I neglect myself?
Maybe I won’t find a special someone to love me because I don’t love myself enough?
The world is constantly telling us that we must love ourselves before we can do anything. Loving yourself has become the 21st century stepping stone to satisfaction and so called happiness in life.
But lately this phrase is not sitting well with me.
It has made me upset because I am starting to see it as a crutch.
A crutch that promotes inaction.
Don’t get me wrong.
I believe we as humans are made in the image and likeness of God. We should appreciate and be thankful for our lives. Everyday that I wake up is an absolute gift. Life is so rad.
But it is time to be real.
We live in an age where we are obsessed with ourselves.
Look around you.
All the narcissistic social media.
All the envy.
All the brokenness.
We are a society so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget we are a part of the world. We become our own planet. A planet constantly in need of cultivation, affirmation, and security.
Today I am asking you not to “love yourself first” but rather:
My belief is we need to start taking “I” out of our vocabulary and changing it to “we.”
What do (we) need today.
(We) are hurting.
(We) are so stressed today.
And then asking ourselves….how can I help?
C.S. Lewis puts it perfectly when he says,
If we put others before ourselves, love will fill every inch of our being.
So next time you open up a magazine to an article titled something like
“1,001 Reasons to Love Yourself Today”
Put the magazine down.
Turn to the nearest person.
Look them in the eye.
And ask them,
“How has your day been?”
That my friends, is how you love yourself.