All too often we feel that we can love others with out love of self, and that is totally wrong, love of self is the only true authentic love there is.
Jesus called us to radical change, that is true, but he still loved us for who we where. We see this in the bible all over the place. He dinned with some of the biggest sinners around, some of his followers where huge sinners, sure they changed, they converted, but Jesus loved them before just as much as he loved them after the change.
The difference is that the sinners learned to love themselves as Jesus loved them; That was the radical change, not Jesus’ love for them, but there love for themselves.
To me, it seems that love of self has to come first, and from all I read in the bible and books written on it, Jesus would agree with me. Now I am not presuming that I know the mind of Jesus, but it just seems to make perfect sense.
How can I offer myself to others if I do not like myself? It would be like offering your dinner guest a meal that you hate. How much love can you truly put in to it? Sure you may prepare it perfectly, and sure you may make it for all the right reasons, but your heart just was not in to it. The same can be said for our relationships, I may put all my heart in to it, I may come off as authentic, but in truth something is missing.
The missing ingredient is the same in both, what is missing is the authentic self, the inner part that makes it truly from you.
Love of self is not a dinner party, and relationships are not meal planning, but the image works, for me at least.
Love of self is the first ingredient needed to create an authentic love for others, no matter who it is, or what kind of love it is. We can only give others what we ourselves have. So how can we give others love, if we have none? Sure we can go through the motions, but is it truly authentic love or a carbon copy of it?
Jesus’ biggest lesson to all of us is the lesson of self love. Now some of you may not like what I am going to say next, but hold on and hear me out…
Jesus dying on the cross was an act of self love.
Now how can that be, you may be asking… Well here you go…
We all know and we all understand that the death of Christ was a total act of self-giving. That goes with out saying. But, consider this, if Jesus had no love of self, what sacrifice would that have been?
With out self-love, the death of Christ would have meant nothing. I would have been nothing more the suicide. Killing one self is not an act of love, but to offer your own life for others you must love the offering.
We all have received gifts from others that had no love behind them, and the gift does not have the same meaning. I have received such kinds of gifts before, and no matter how nice, it just really has not meaning, I have no attachment to it, on the other side, I have received the worst gift ever, and have treasured them because of the love they where given with.
Jesus had great love of self, and in offering himself up, he offered the greatest love anyone could.
Love of self is the only true authentic love we can have, besides the love of God, but we can not have authentic love of self with out love of God and the reverse is also true, we can not have authentic love of God with out authentic love of self. They both are related, you could say, is someway they both are the same, that love of self is love of God, and the love of God is love of self.