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On loving yourself before others

I’m not a fan of the phrase “You can’t love someone if you don’t love yourself.” It feels like something someone would tell you before trying to sell you a course on self-help, and I don’t know if it’s very true at all.
“What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.”

— Hermann Hesse


I’m not a fan of the phrase “You can’t love someone if you don’t love yourself.” It feels like something someone would tell you before trying to sell you a course on self-help, and I don’t know if it’s very true at all.

Sure, having immense love for yourself might help the speed in which you deepen relationships with others—but I think if you spend time building close relationships with friends, bringing value to those friendships and in turn receiving and appreciating the value others bring to you—learning that everyone isn’t perfect, through forgiveness and empathy—and having moments of vulnerability—ultimately these all teach us lessons on how to find love within ourselves.

We often don’t give ourselves the same opportunity for forgiveness and patience as we give others, so of course it’s going to be a lot harder to love yourself— and I know personally that I don’t think I’ll ever get to the same level of love for myself as I do for my friends and family.

It doesn’t mean I don’t have love, appreciation and respect for who I am as a person, it just means I find beautiful qualities in others much faster than I do within myself.

And I think that’s okay.

If you feel stuck or just want to chat, reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram (@heyfuturejesse). I’m always happy to chat.

— Jesse

P.s. you can find the spoken word version of this blog post here.