There is no right way to love a person that doesn’t love them self. And it’s hard at times to identify when a person doesn’t love them self … While some people wear their self-hate on their sleeve, others mask it so well. You will mistake conceit and vanity for self-confidence. If a person is constantly seeking attention or compliments, the truth is not that they are so in-love with them self that they are trying to share that with you, the truth is they don’t love them self and they are trying to obtain validation and worth through your acceptance. A person who does not love them self requires more love than you might actually have to give, because not only do you have to give the love that you would naturally share from your heart, you have to give more love to compensate for the areas where they don’t love them self --- and it’s never enough. No matter what you do, they will not be satisfied… and their dissatisfaction will in turn cause them to attempt to make you not love yourself, make you feel like your love isn’t good enough, or you are not good enough for your love to be accepted by them. But they can’t accept your love, because they don’t love them self. Have you ever had an individual challenge your love for them? A long time ago, during a “break-up” of sorts, an individual, a very arrogant individual, asked me if I loved him. I said, “I can’t love someone who doesn’t love them self.” He said, “What makes you think I don’t love myself?” I said, “If you loved yourself, you would have treated me better. You would have realized the jewel and treasure of my love, and your heart would have made you cherish it. I gave all I had to give, and it wasn’t enough. There’s no way possible you love yourself.”
This truth is something that I have learned from both sides of the fence. I have attempted to both love someone who didn’t love them self, and also have accepted the harsh reality that I too have been guilty of not properly loving myself. I could list several reasons why I believe I developed the burden of devaluing my self-worth and not properly caring for myself, but that would more than likely include a dissertation stemming back to circa 1985 or ’86 to as recent as last year. :’(
The opposite of love is hate… But we often times trick ourselves into thinking that our emotions rest somewhere right in the middle of those two very different feelings. Rarely do you hear someone profess that they hate themselves, or even someone else for that matter… but the Bible is very clear on what LOVE IS --- biblical scholars believe that in scripture, charity is synonymous with love --- Let’s see what the scriptures say about charity:
I Corinthians 13:4-7 (King James Version (KJV))
“4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
So if one’s love of others or love of self doesn’t resemble what we read above, can we agree that it isn’t love? Can we agree that many have been mis-educated on what love is? Can we agree that people mimic behaviors, and that it is very possible that if someone hasn’t received true love, they themselves wouldn’t know how to give it, or receive it? And let’s take it a step further, if someone for years has watched a person before them (parent, elder, friend) mis-love them self, they too may end up in a cycle of mis-loving them self as well?
Paraphrasing, the Bible also says “treat others the way you want to be treated” (Luke 6:31)… So if someone brings harm – whether it be emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or physically, but says they love you, can you really believe them? Are they treating you the way they want to be treated?
Take a step back and really study the hurtful person (note I said hurtful, and not hurting) …put yourself in their shoes…what would it take on the inside of you to consistently be negative and hurtful towards others…to bring out the worst in those around you…cause tears to flow from their eyes…cause them to feel horrible about themselves…rid them with anxiety, stress, and worry… would it be possible for you to be filled with love on the inside, and have hate manifest on the outside? I don’t think so…
I say all of this to say, it is commanded of us to love (John 13:34)… There is no doubt or argument concerning that. But it is important that we are careful of who we agree to allow to love us, when we know deep down inside that what they are giving us isn’t really love. I know now that one of the first questions you should answer to yourself concerning a person that claims to love you, is “do they love them self?”
If you continue to question their love of self, it is inevitable that over time, you will find yourself in position to question their love for you as well. YOUR LOVE OF GOD & YOUR LOVE OF SELF will project your love of others in a healthy manner --- it will also help you to determine the kinds of love you accept --- don’t settle for love in words --- hold on to love in action… The better the love you receive, the better the love you give…