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 in the areas where we don’t love ourselves, we are actually not able to provide that love for others.
For instance, if you don’t handle stress well, and always beat yourself up about how you shouldn’t be stressed, you will not show up with love when someone you love is stressed out. Instead, you will show up with a negative feeling like frustration or anger.
But if you owned the fact that you don’t handle stress well, and realized that right now that is one of your weaknesses you will be compassionate towards yourself. Then you’ll be more likely to be able to extend the same compassion to your loved one when they are struggling with stress.
Brené’s research about our ability to give to others stopped me fast!
I had spent my whole life believing I could love others more than I love myself.
In fact, I believed I loved my kids more than I loved me and was supposed to!
That’s what a good mother does.
In my first interview with Brené, we spent a good portion of it on our ability to love others being in direct correlation to loving oneself.
From that interview + years of my own practice of implementing her research I’ve learned:
- My job is to love myself, all of me.
- ALL OF ME is defined as: My imperfections, my too much-ness, my fierceness, my bravery, my heart, my grumpiness, my foot in the mouth episodes + my loyalty.
- I was able to accept me because of my ability to love all of myself … my strengths + my flaws.
- This acceptance allowed me to treat myself with compassion.
Because I’ve successfully cultivated a relationship with myself where I love + accept all of me and am compassionate with myself, I can now give that to others – because I have it. I am now able to give others LOVE + ACCEPTANCE + COMPASSION.
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