MYTH: You can love others more than you love yourself.
FACT: Your ability to love others is correlated to your ability to love yourself.
Almost a decade ago I read this mind shattering fact in Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection as I was preparing for my first interview with her.
Her research showed that in the areas where we don’t love ourselves, we are not able to provide that love for others.
For instance, if you don’t handle stress well and are always beating yourself up about how you shouldn’t be stressed. Then when someone you love is stuck in stress you will not show up with love but with negative feelings like frustration or anger.
But, if you owned the fact that you don’t handle stress well, and realized this is one of your weaknesses, you’ll be more likely to extend the same compassion to your loved one who is struggling with stress.
This fact proven by Brené’s research stopped me fast!
I had spent my whole life believing I could love others more than I loved myself.
In fact I believed I loved my kids more than I loved me and was supposed to!
Isn’t that what you are supposed to do as a good mother?
I posted that question on my FB wall.
Of course, my FB friends believed they should, and did, love their children way more than they loved themselves.
In my first interview with Brené, we spent a good portion of time on one’s ability to love others being in direct correlation to loving oneself.
What did I learn from that interview and then years of practice implementing this key concept from her research into my life? That my job was to love:
- All of myself.
My imperfections, my too much-ness, my fierceness, my bravery, my heart, my grumpiness, + my loyalty – ALL OF ME!
My ability to love all of myself … my strengths and my flaws allowed me to accept me.
My ability to love + own my strengths and flaws allowed me to love others so much more.
It’s not selfish or being self absorbed to love yourself.
Loving yourself is the key to your ability to love others.
Love yourself and then learn to extend that love to others in every encounter.
P.S. Need help learning how to love yourself? Get support in my ENOUGH group. Click here to apply.