Self Love vs selfishness

27-Dec-2012 Contributed by: *Guest Contributor Rachel Jessica Tan
By Rachel Jessica Tan

I believe there is a huge misconception about the term ‘love yourself’. For some reason, we’re brought up to believe that having ‘self-love’ means being ‘selfish’. And trust me, I’ve been called selfish many times in my young life so far, especially being an only child…and an actress. But what we need to understand is that everything begins within. We cannot find love outside ourselves unless we first love ourselves from the inside, out.

Let me break it down. Being ‘selfish’ is a term that connotes self-centredness and an abandonment of the concern for others. The chief concern is only for one’s self. The grasping feeling of needing things from others, whether that be material things or love, points to a complete lack of adequacy. Therefore, the focus here I believe is taking.

Self-Love on the other hand is something that is born within you. It’s a belief and feeling that you are worthy and good enough for anything that life has to offer you. This love for oneself lends to extending and sharing that loving outwards towards others. And in an ironic twist you are able to give more love.

I’ve come to believe that this notion of self-love underpins everything in our lives, the way we make decisions, our behaviour towards others and what we focus on. Have you met a person so filled with positive energy that you can’t help but smile when you’re around them? This energy is radiating out from within them – and without feeling that first within themselves, it is impossible to share it with anyone else.

On the other hand, you can always tell someone is selfish because they come from a place of fear; a fear that they’re going to miss out on something, and therefore they have to have everything, be everything and do everything. Someone who loves themselves knows that everything they need is within them, so there’s no need to stress or struggle, there’s no need to prove themselves to anyone. They already know who they are and love themselves no matter what!

Rachel is an actress/writer/producer, founder of PMU Productions and author of eBook 'Inspired Living' based between Melbourne and LA. She loves inspiring others to live their best life!

Twitter: @RachelJTan
Positivity, Personal Triumph, Overcoming Depression, Spirituality
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