“Self-love my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.” Ok, let me translate what Shakespeare meant: It’s not sinful to love yourself, but it is sinful to neglect yourself.
You can only love others to the extent you are able to love yourself. You can only honor others to the degree that you honor yourself and above all, the person most deserving of your trust is you.
Several years ago a friend of mine went through a painful divorce. Her husband of over 20 years had a habit of breaking promises. His past history included hiding behind positions of importance in his church while secretly having a fling with the pastor’s wife. His reputation included other numerous affairs, unpaid debts and broken promises to his family and friends. His actions were anything but loving, yet she continued to “love him” at the expense of herself, always deferring to him in major decisions regarding their life. When they were negotiating the divorce settlement, he said to her, “you are just going to have to trust me.”
Obviously it would be unwise to trust this kind of man. Trust is based on information, previous experiences and past history. We trust that when the traffic light is green, it means we are clear to go–so we take action upon that trust and we proceed through traffic.
We trust when a doctor says, “this won’t hurt at all,” that we won’t experience pain and with that trust we give our permission for the doctor to continue.
When my friend’s ex-husband uttered the words “trust me,” it occurred to her that what she needed most was to trust herself; the same way she needed to learn to love herself. In her attempts to be patient, kind and long-suffering she had betrayed herself. By remaining silent, by accepting broken promises and by being so unloving toward herself, she had deceived herself and thereby learned not to trust herself.
Loving someone does not translate to becoming a doormat. Love doesn’t happen at the expense of yourself. Neale Donald Walsch says in book number two of Conversations With God, “Betrayal of yourself in order not to betray another is betrayal nonetheless, it is of the highest betrayal.”
Developing trust for yourself is one way you show love for yourself. You learn to trust yourself when you love yourself enough to set a boundary in an unhealthy relationship or when you demand a higher standard as to how you intend to be treated. You show respect and trust for yourself when you ask for what you want and know that you are strong enough to face the outcome. You love yourself when you are vulnerable enough to share your feelings and yet strong enough to face the risk of rejection.
Important relationships dissolve, couples break up and romance ends. There is one relationship that you can’t escape and that is the one you have with yourself. Of all the people who will ever come into your life, YOU are the only one you will never leave, therefore you deserve your love and attention as much as anyone else does.
Shakespeare said, “This above all: to thine own self be true and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” Was he talking about love?
Source by Marlene Chism