I cannot even fathom the obstacles, barriers and discrimination a woman like Lucille Ball had to deal with to be a female comedian. She was someone who broke through those barriers no matter how hard or how long it took, she kept going. To do that I’m sure she had to learn very quickly to be her own biggest fan. Her words remind us that first we love ourselves, once that is a regular practice then we will be fully equipped to love others.
This reminds me of air travel. When they review the safety measure before each take off they tell passengers to put their own mask on first before helping others. No parent is any good to their child if they cannot breath, so get that mask on covering your own face before reaching to help your child. It can sound harsh, but it is not selfish. How can you help someone else survive if you don’t?
So if we take that same principle and apply it to love, then we have to love ourselves before we can truly love someone else. This means accepting our shortcomings, our failures, our features, our hair color and our personality no matter what. Sure there are good and bad days, we all have those. The challenge is to love, really deep down love ourselves, no matter the circumstances. For someone else to love us they have to accept the entire package, not just the best bits, so we have to be able to do the same.
These social distancing days have given us time to do things, read more, clean up or clear out our minds and our spaces. The distant days have also allowed us time to face ourselves, love ourselves and figure out what we want from our life, ourselves, and others. To make all that work we must first love ourselves.
This isn’t a call to selfishness, being conceited, or letting arrogance rule the day. It is a reminder that to truly bring our gifts and talents to the world we have to first accept and love ourselves because if we do not love ourselves how can we ask anyone else to? Self love isn’t selfish it is wisdom.