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If You Don’t Love Yourself, How Can You Expect Others To?

Gautama Buddha says:

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”  Gautama Buddha

When I was young I used to look at myself and see nothing but flaws. My nose was too large. My hair was so bad I kept it short. I was skinny and short. I didn’t like the person looking back at me in the mirror.

“Why couldn’t I have a nose like this person, or hair like that person?” I’d ask myself. People would like me if I looked better.  If I had bigger muscles maybe those girls would talk to me. I hated myself.

In school I’d sit all alone in the corner, wondering why no one liked me.

After sulking for several years, I decided to do something.

I began working out. Two hours a day I lifted weights. Before I knew it, my body filled out. My muscles were larger than those of the other boys. My nose didn’t seem so big anymore.

Nothing changed. Other kids still seemed not to like me. Looking in the mirror, I saw my muscles were too large, and my nose was shaped funny. All I saw was nothing but flaws. I still hated myself.

“Why couldn’t the other kids like me?” I’d ask myself over and over again.

Then one day, someone asked me what I did to get into shape. They said I had the best body in the entire class. They wanted my help. The kid was very skinny, skinnier than I was before. He was a few inches shorter than I was. His entire head was over-sized for his body.

But he was always smiling and happy. Other kids, boys and girls would talk and laugh with him. One day I asked why he wanted to work out. He had a low immune system, and as a result would get sick all the time. His doctor suggested that he lift weights, thought it might help his immune system. He was happy with who he was.

That’s when it dawned on me. If I didn’t love myself, how can I expect others to love me? If me, the one person who should love me unconditionally, didn’t like me, how can I expect others to like or love me?

That’s when things changed for me. I began thinking about my good points. I was smarter than most of the others in my classes. I got the highest math grade for the entire tenth grade. There were a host of other things that I was particularly good at. The more I thought about my good qualities the better I felt about myself.

I began liking who I am. Things changed when I was outside. Rather than being all alone, others began mixing with me. Rather than the usual depressed, sad look, there was a smile on my face. I was happy with myself and it showed.

Being comfortable with who I am changed my entire life. People looked up to me. Other kids envied me and wanted to hang out with me. They wanted to know my secret for being so happy, for having a charmed life.

Years later I found the love of my life. The old me would have thought someone that beautiful would never love someone like me. To my surprise, she questioned what I saw in her. A beauty queen was asking me this. She feels lucky that I chose her.

The next time you ask yourself why others don’t like or love you, why you can’t find love, ask yourself these questions: Do you like yourself? Do you love yourself? Before you can ask someone else to love you, you need to love yourself.

Everyone has flaws. What you have to remember is to overlook the flaws and identify your good points. You need to look inside yourself with an open mind, to learn the true you. Isn’t that what you say to yourself, if they knew the person deep inside me they would love me?

Love yourself, before asking others to love you, before looking for someone else to love. You deserve your love more than anyone else in the universe.

O.M. Kiam is a blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.