I have heard a question floating around the Internet lately. “Do we really have to love ourselves in order to love other people?”
My answer is both “yes” and “no.” I don’t believe that we have to love ourselves in order to love other people, but I believe that if we want to love them well then we need to love ourselves.
We live in a world surrounded by people who are selfish and sinful, and when we give, many times it feels as if they just want more and more of us until we have nothing left to give, until we are tired, weary, and feel hurt and used up. We feel like we give and give and receive nothing in return.
We are called to love these people, but how can we give when we don’t have anything left?
In order to love well, we have to love ourselves. We have to take time to rest and meet our own needs so we can meet the needs of others better. We have to treat ourselves as well as we treat others.
Ways to Love Yourself
- Follow your passions.
- Eat well.
- Get enough sleep.
- Keep learning.
- Occasionally pamper yourself. Go get a manicure, pedicure, or massage.
- Read a book.
- Watch your favorite movie.
- Eat some chocolate.
- Do nothing! Spend just a few minutes doing nothing.
- Keep a journal of love letters to you from Jesus. When you are doing your Bible reading or study and a verse stands out to you rewrite it as a love letter to you from Christ.
- Make something.
- Go shopping!
- Take yourself out once in a while. Go to dinner by yourself or just to your favorite coffee shop.
- Create your own “haven.” Make a space just for you. It can be a just a special chair in your bedroom. It can be a craft room, a library, a home office. Whatever it is make it yours. Fill it with your favorite things, your favorite scents, etc.
- Take a walk.
- Take a nap.
- Take a bubble bath.
- Plan a girls’ night out or a weekend retreat for you and your friends.
- Get involved in your women’s group at church.