Self Love or Self Obsession?

Happy season of love dear readers. I dug up this post from 3 years ago. I would love your perspective on this thorny question of self-love. Is it necessary or not to experience love and happiness.

May you taste the sweetness of love, wherever you find it.
blessings, Brad

writing to freedom

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I was going to join the self love party, writing about tips for self love like so many other bloggers. Then I realized that I don’t agree with the idea that self love is necessary in life.

Did Ghandi or Albert Schweitzer or Mother Teresa practice self love? I didn’t interview them for this blog, but I doubt it. They practiced service and giving to others. Is self love necessary to experience peace, happiness and love? I doubt it. I believe that part of our trouble is our western obsession with self, ego, and personality. Why separate ourselves from life and other people? What we give to another is what we receive.

Virtually every blogger I’ve read this week has posted about the necessity of self love. One blog I read suggested that self love is The Path to tue love. I say no. Yes I practice self love. Yes I think it’s wise to give love to…

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8 thoughts on “Self Love or Self Obsession?

  1. If we take self love as meaning being at peace with ones self and appreciating what we are and our potential then surely that is necessary in order to connect fully with other people? How can we give love if there is self loathing? That in itself creates separation between ourselves and everyone/thing else.
    I agree that self love doesn’t come first, it comes with; with love for all, it is unity, one continuous flow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An interesting post, Brad. I think it comes down, in part, to what is meant by the term. Loving the idea of oneself is a trap we can fall into, but that is not what is meant by authentic self-love I think. I think authentic self-love is something altogether different from pep talks in front of the mirror. I think it is discovering, coming to know, and being comfortable with one’s entire self– such that the internal discord, the self-reproachment, the guilt and shame, the uncertainty and unworthiness, dissolve… If we still carry those things, we’ll inevitably try to correct for them. We’ll be like an athlete favoring a injury, a condition which often leads to further injury. And in trying to correct for those inner handicaps we expereience, and “play through them”, we’ll be forced to start deciding what we do that is loving, and what we do that is not. In short, we’ll be judging and comparing again. Making definitions of what is good vs not so good. And pretty soon we’ll be back to trying to live up to an idea, or an ideal, of who we are. This disempowers us, distances us from who we truly are, and our efforts to give to others, however well-intentioned, will be nice perhaps, but not nearly as powerful as they might otherwise be…

    Maybe instead of self-love, it would help to call it self-acceptance…? Or self-knowing… We have to truly taste and discover all that we are, not picking and choosing along the way, to emerge one day into a living, compassionate wholeness.

    Peace
    Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing your wonderful perspective Michael. No doubt that someone who has learned to embrace the multitude of aspects has become love, and satisfied your view on self-love. And no doubt that trying to fix and compensate for our perceived ailments lead to endless traps and travails. What I’m not yet convinced is that we need to find self-love ( or self-acceptance) before we can love and serve others. No doubt life keeps nudging us along, asking us to open more, embrace more and find that compassionate wholeness. But it seems some come to the same place of wholeness without ever even focusing on self. They simply serve others. blessings, Brad

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