Can You Love Someone More Than You Love Yourself?

My oldest son was around fifteen or sixteen years old.
We were visiting our friendly family psychologist
When he asked us the question:
“Can you love someone more than you love yourself?”
Immediately my son answered “no.”
And I immediately answered “yes.”

I loved my children more than myself
Would have sacrificed my life for them
I loved my husband more than myself, too
And gladly made sacrifices for him over the years

But my illnesses taught me
that if I didn’t learn to love myself first
I would be unable to care for anyone
Including myself
(the thought that terrified me most)

When I moved to Hawaii and met Xavier
I started to change how I cared for myself
i.e., juicing, exercise, massage, acupuncture

That was the easier, although I won’t say easy
Part of changing

And the changes accelerated as I began to love myself
And to establish a new relationship with my body

But self-love isn’t limited to how we care for our physical bodies.
It also includes how we care for our thoughts.
Since our thoughts often rule us

Or can we learn to observe our thoughts?
To pluck the self-diminishing ones like weeds
The ones that tell us we are not enough
Fill in the blank
Not pretty enough
Thin enough
Strong enough
Understanding enough

The thoughts that keep us from loving ourselves.

Mindfulness and meditation helped with this, and now, how grateful I am
That my eldest son challenged my answer to the question:
“Can you love someone else more than you love yourself?”
How grateful I am that I now see it his way
That is, that the answer to the question is: “No.”

Out of love for my children
I always put them first
But if I had not learned to love and care for myself first
I would not be here now

Blessed with time
To spend not only with my children
But now with my two grandsons…

5 thoughts on “Can You Love Someone More Than You Love Yourself?”

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