13
   

Love of Self Before Others?

 
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 03:17 pm
"You must love yourself before you can truly love another" - What a cliche! I myself have used it on occasion. But is it true? If so, what might the mechanics be?

I've done some looking and have found no reason why this ought to be true. Yes, I think that self respect and self "love" is important - to a point. But is such prerequisite to the ability to love another? My intuition tells me "yes" while my intellect simultaneously says, "No, this isn't true at all"

What say ye? Is self love required before you can "truly" love another? And if so - and more importantly - why?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 3,105 • Replies: 32

 
mark noble
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 03:55 pm
@Khethil,
Hi Khethil!

Is not to love wholly to love everything? Anything less is not love.

Kind regards!
Mark...
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  3  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 04:12 pm
I have no love for myself and I offer none for others. Where do I fit into this equation?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 04:25 pm
@gustavratzenhofer,
Gus!! Are you trying to get declarations of love lofted your way? You are, aren't you.

I half think you dramatically disappear now and then just to be sure to get maximum adulation when you finally deign to grace us with your presence.

At any rate. I think "You must love yourself before you can truly love another" is not a bad idea. Someone who has no self-regard is likely to be a toxic personality, unable to be truly loving.

Not absolute of course. So I dislike that "must." Not so fond of the "truly" either. (How does one love truly as opposed to just loving?) But I think the basic idea is mostly sound.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 04:26 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

I half think you dramatically disappear now and then just to be sure to get maximum adulation when you finally deign to grace us with your presence.



I hate gus's guts
0 Replies
 
anonymous6059
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 05:40 pm
@Khethil,
hey, every action is done for the self, altruism is impossible.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 06:05 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:

"You must love yourself before you can truly love another" -

...

But is such prerequisite to the ability to love another? My intuition tells me "yes" while my intellect simultaneously says, "No, this isn't true at all"

What say ye? Is self love required before you can "truly" love another? And if so - and more importantly - why?


No, I'm afraid I disagree with having to love oneself before loving another. You can love your children with everything you have, it's whole and unconditional, but that doesn't have to mean you love yourself. There can be many reasons for that.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 06:05 pm
@gustavratzenhofer,
equally gus - and man, it's good to see you around!
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 11:07 pm
being married to a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I see that this is true. A person who does not accept themselves can not love another, for there is no fully formed person available to give themselves to another. To love deeply is to throw oneself into union with another, he who does not love himself can not do this.
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 02:55 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:

"You must love yourself before you can truly love another" - What a cliche! I myself have used it on occasion. But is it true? If so, what might the mechanics be?

I've done some looking and have found no reason why this ought to be true. Yes, I think that self respect and self "love" is important - to a point. But is such prerequisite to the ability to love another? My intuition tells me "yes" while my intellect simultaneously says, "No, this isn't true at all"

What say ye? Is self love required before you can "truly" love another? And if so - and more importantly - why?


i agree with hawkeye.

to add to that, to love oneself is the most difficult thing of all unless one were brought up in a fully functional home with rational and whole caregivers, and even then wouldnt necessarily be a given. loving unconditionally is also not possible as long as there is some reason or condition that stops one from loving their own self. the few people i have known in my life who believed they were satisfied with their absolute perfection were seriously flawed in character. most normal people have various things about themselves they cannot accept, and that in turn prevents them from accepting others.
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 03:02 am
@salima,
I think love of others in its simplest and purest form comes before love of self. Love and/or attachment to others usually comes naturally before there is any concept of 'self'.
It is how this love is received that determines how or whether or not one feels loved in return and that is what either leads to love or rejection of one's 'self' by a person.

I think loving others despite their imperfections teaches one how to be accepting and loving of oneself in one's own imperfect state.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 03:16 am
@aidan,
Quote:

I think loving others despite their imperfections teaches one how to be accepting and loving of oneself in one's own imperfect state
eh, no....our desperate unwillingness to let another person go in spite of their imperfections teaches us to accept the imperfections in ourselves. The whole thing is pretty fucked up, but we humans are like that....

it is not the connection (love) that is the driving force, it is force of will...
Pepijn Sweep
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 03:34 am
@salima,
salima wrote:

Khethil wrote:

"You must love yourself before you can truly love another" - What a cliche! I myself have used it on occasion. But is it true? If so, what might the mechanics be?

I've done some looking and have found no reason why this ought to be true. Yes, I think that self respect and self "love" is important - to a point. But is such prerequisite to the ability to love another? My intuition tells me "yes" while my intellect simultaneously says, "No, this isn't true at all"

What say ye? Is self love required before you can "truly" love another? And if so - and more importantly - why?


i agree with hawkeye.

to add to that, to love oneself is the most difficult thing of all unless one were brought up in a fully functional home with rational and whole caregivers, and even then wouldnt necessarily be a given. loving unconditionally is also not possible as long as there is some reason or condition that stops one from loving their own self. the few people i have known in my life who believed they were satisfied with their absolute perfection were seriously flawed in character. most normal people have various things about themselves they cannot accept, and that in turn prevents them from accepting others.


I agree with you up till the point where you say not loving oneself prevents them from loving some-one else. Sometimes I realize I can except another persons "things" because I have "things" myself.
Very Happy
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 05:55 am
how annoying not to be able to read the thread while making a comment...

i am being called away but will be back. with two browsers open...
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 08:45 am
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

I think love of others in its simplest and purest form comes before love of self. Love and/or attachment to others usually comes naturally before there is any concept of 'self'.
It is how this love is received that determines how or whether or not one feels loved in return and that is what either leads to love or rejection of one's 'self' by a person.

I think loving others despite their imperfections teaches one how to be accepting and loving of oneself in one's own imperfect state.


i would say that it seems this is true at first. or maybe it works both ways. we first fall in love with someone and they have some traits which we admire and ordinarily imagine we do not have.

when is the self concept achieved? i think it is quite soon, within the first year of life. any attachment a child has to its parents before that point is not love, but a biological necessity.

so if what you are saying is that that person we love, if they reject us causes a bad self image and if they love us causes a good self image, i would certainly agree. this is the saddest thing about the parent/child relationship, since most children are rejected for their not living up to the expectations of the parent. (in my personal experience and observation at least. let me know if you perceive it differently, it may have something to do with my background.)

your comment about loving others with their imperfections helps us to accept our own is very astute-and it can also help us to find our imperfections and try to correct them.

so there is definitely much more to the subject than the simple statement that is the subject of this thread suggests.

0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 08:51 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:

I think loving others despite their imperfections teaches one how to be accepting and loving of oneself in one's own imperfect state
eh, no....our desperate unwillingness to let another person go in spite of their imperfections teaches us to accept the imperfections in ourselves. The whole thing is pretty fucked up, but we humans are like that....

it is not the connection (love) that is the driving force, it is force of will...


and you are right, it isnt working at all like it is supposed to...

what you describe in the section i have put in bold print sometimes happens, but there are a lot of variations on the theme. for instance, an alcoholic can refuse to leave another alcoholic because that would invalidate his alcoholism. there is the opposite, the desperate unwillingness to make a commitment or connection to anyone at all, which allows us not to have to face any imperfections in anyone else or our own self.

human beings do love wrong in so many ways, they are uncountable.

hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 12:03 pm
@salima,
Quote:
human beings do love wrong in so many ways, they are uncountable.
The point I was getting at is that we still say that marriage is work but many don't do it. To be with someone over the long all requires the force of will, we have to want to stay with someone enough to force ourselves to grow in such a way that we remain compatible with our mates. For better or worse a lot of people now refuse to impose these restrictions on themselves, they stay with a person for as long as it works and when it almost inevitable stops working because the two grow in incompatible ways they end the relationship and try to find new ones. I personally don't see how bouncing from relationship to relationship could be as rewarding as sticking it out with one person and making it work but I increasingly seem to be in the minority.

My wife and I have had problems, in fact she filed divorce once, but we both are stubborn old mules who refuse to let the marriage die. According to modern theory of relationships we are fucked up because we will not let each other go, which is basically now considered a form of abuse. When she in a moment of weakness decided that she wanted out I was supposed to say "what ever you want dear", but I went the other way and said that I dont want to end this and will be pissed if you do end it. Two weeks later she was back in, and we were going to marriage counseling. We are both glad that I reacted that way now, but she wasn't at the time, and any pro would say that I was wrong to do what I did.

Just as it can be unappealing to watch sausage being made deconstructing long running intimate relationships between two imperfect people can be a jolt. A lot of stuff happens that the text books and the experts claim should never happen.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 03:32 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
... A person who does not accept themselves can not love another, for there is no fully formed person available to give themselves to another.


I just see loving oneself, and loving someone else as two independent activities. Yes we should love and respect ourselves, I fear the connection is nothing more than poetry.

Thanks... so what is "fully formed", and what has that to do with the ability to love another?
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 03:35 pm
@salima,
Hey Salima,

salima wrote:
... loving unconditionally is also not possible as long as there is some reason or condition that stops one from loving their own self.

Why is this? It still doesn't explain why the absence of one prevents the existence of the other?

Basically, lots of you (who've taken the time to respond - thank you) are saying, "You need to love yourself in order to love another because you need to love yourself to love another" - it doesn't say anything. The question is... why? what is the connection?

Thanks
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 03:37 pm
Thank for the replies and sorry for my not having read and responded earlier. For some reason, this thread doesn't show up on the "new posts" or "new topics"... and my New Posts seems to be stuck from a day or two ago.

I'll respond more as I've got to step away now - thanks again
0 Replies
 
 

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