Giving and receiving love

Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself.

I’ve been reading this quotes at least a dozen of times and I’m still wondering what it means exactly. There are two interpretations running in my mind. One is, unless you do love yourself you should not expect somebody else to love you. The other is, unless you give love to anybody else you should not expect to receive love. As I said, I’m still struggeling with the real meaning, although I have a preference for my first interpretation. However, both ideas are worthwile to give them a thought.

If you want to be loved by others you have to love yourself. Selflove has a negative connotation nowadays and is used synonym to narcissism, conceit and vainglory. Yet, if you take it to peaces it’s nothing more than self – love, love yourself. I don’t see anything wrong with loving myself. It’s a fundamental prerequesite to a positive attitude towards yourself, which in turn the basis of mental health. If you don’t love yourself, if you don’t believe your worth living, your valuable, how are you going to believe anybody else could feel or think about in such a way?

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If you’re permanently repeating a negative thought like “I’m a loser, I can’t do anything right, and I will never make it”, how will you be able to believe someone who’s telling you “your doing a great job, you’re great”. If you constantly tell yourself “I’m a podge, I don’t like my body, I’m not pretty”, how are you going to have faith in somebody who’s complimenting you for your looks? I’m sure you get the point. If you don’t have a positive attitude towards yourself, if you don’t love yourself, you won’t ever be able to receive love from somebody else because you’re simply not able to believe, that somebody else could ever love you.

Another thought that comes to my mind, while reflecting on self-love is this well-known bible quote:

 Have love for your neighbour as for yourself. (Matthew 22,39)

Having love for oneself is presupposed and it seems to be naturally. If you shall love your neighbor like yourself, you first actually have to love yourself. Otherwise, if you don’t love yourself and you do so with your neighbor, well, you don’t have love for him (or her).

Now, let’s have a look at the second interpretation, which can actually be narrowed down to “If you don’t give love, you won’t receive love.” To my mind this seems so self-evident that I can hardly find words for explanation. I imagine a person, who’s not giving love, to be grumpy and nagging, maybe depressed and secluded. This is just my spontaneous association and I’m not saying that it’s fact. Anyway, if I imagine such a person I can figure that it would not easy to love her. As I said, I can hardly find words …

So, to sum up, the take home message for today is

Give love to yourself and give love to others. Then you will receive love in turn.

With hugs and an open heart,

Elis

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