Sunday, June 26, 2011

Must we love ourselves?

I'm positive it's not just me who's been through this thought struggle.

Have you ever come across people in your life who openly speak of their love for themselves, with no apparent signs of discomfort? Have you noticed how the discomfort seems to come instead from those surrounding the person in love with theirself? I've always wondered why I feel uncomfortable and restless when things like this happen. Is it because there's something wrong with what I'm hearing, an undesirable trait that you feel awkward about because you're embarrassed on their behalf for not knowing what they are meant to or not mean to say? Or is it the opposite? Do I feel discomfort because I'd never have the boldness to love myself and speak up about it?

In other words, must we love ourselves?

If the answer is no: Why? Wouldn't loving yourself keep you at peace? A person who loves themselves will be immune to any feelings of worthlessness or weaknesses. That person will be content no matter how many failures or criticisms they encounter. How they treat their self will remain on the same level, and not depend on how well they're doing in life, because their love of them self will keep them, in their own eyes, worthy of the best treatment. Doesn't that make people in love with themselves more likely to be successful because of how good they'll be feeling all the time about their life? And won't that mean they will always be happy, irrespective of what's happening in their life? Also, what about the idea that to be capable of loving others, we must be capable of loving ourselves? How true is it, and why are the two related?

If the answer is yes: Why? Wouldn't loving yourself make you self-conceited and vain? Wouldn't being content with the way you are make you blind to your imperfections, and therefore trapped from improving yourself? Wouldn't loving yourself make you more likely to look down at others? Is it possible to remain humble and modest while loving yourself? Would the love you feel for yourself occupy you from loving others? Would your narcissism make others around you uncomfortable and less drawn to you?

Must we love ourselves?

The usual response to a question like this lies in moderation. But that's not a satisfying answer, because how do we maintain this level of moderation? How do you manage to keep the balance?

And in any case, who said any of all of this is in our hands?

If you're reading this, please drop by your two cents and tell me, must I love myself?


  1. You're right about the answer lying in moderation. Even though, it may not be satisfying, that is the best answer. I think we all like ourselves. We appreaciate what God has made us, physically, mentally, emotionally. And we appreciate the family we're born in, the people we are close to etc. But to love yourself so much that you go around talking and bragging about it is like being arrogant. If we want to show our love for ourselves, we should show appreciation for our surroundings,like family, friends, health and everything that we are blessed with.
    hope that answers your question!
    Thanks for sharing x =]

  2. ok..lemme tell u wt i do. i LOEV myself..n both my MSN n Skype status r frequently like this " ofcourse i love myself: don't u"???

    hehehe its s 2-way thing..dat dont u love "myself" (means ur own self)..
    i do admire myself BUt i dont impose my self-love on others.
    liek i dont TELL them wat they shud do...or that I m better than them or more gorgeous. i openly admit i m an "ordinary lookign girl"...BUIT i dont wanna change it coz i LOVE myself...dat keeps me saner n helps me not inviting the envy of others...
    TRY IT YAAR.... n love urself!!

  3. Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

  4. Hi there!

    I do think we should love ourselves. There is a parable in the Jewish tradition that tells each person to place a stone in each pocket. On the first stone, one should write 'I am but dust and ashes' and on the second stone, one should write 'for me the world was created'. It is all balance and we should avoid arrogance of course. But truly loving yourself is also being open to how you can still grow and improve as a human being.

    I blogged about the same topic a few weeks ago. You can find it here!

    This Good Life

  5. Jnana, I loved the intro! Very catchy :)

    To answer your question- yes, we should love ourselves but it should not necessarily be blind love. We have to re-evaluate ourselves, question our behavior/motives, and strive to be better, no matter how 'good/amazing we already are'.

    I love myself but I am not content with myself- I do not believe that I have reached the best that I can be and I never will, but I'll keep trying, anyways (inshaAllah). We're all a work in progress but as we grow, we can be proud of who we've become and the progress we've made.

  6. Thank you all for your very valuable input!

  7. Yes.. you should love yourself..

    But why?

    When we love ourselves we start loving God.. We feel contended about things and people. We start seeing the good in others too.. A smile is as infectious, if not more, as a yawn.Our smiling face brings the same response from people who come across us...
    So be happy and love yourself.. you will see the good in others too...

  8. We should love ourselves, but only for the reason that we are Gods creation, that kinda takes the arrogant aspect out of loving yourself?

  9. Brilliant way of looking at it!


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