An essential aspect about our being is our love and acceptance of ourselves. Our capability to love others and show compassion and kindness stems from our self-love and self-acceptance. The self-love here doesn’t mean the negative qualities of narcissism, conceit or selfishness. It is the quality of having the appropriate quantity of love for yourself, self-respect, and self-esteem. When we love ourselves enough and take good care of our well-being, we become complete as a person and become also aware of the things we still lack and how to eventually fill them in.

When you love and accept yourself, you become filled with positivity and awareness about yourself and everything around you. You develop sensitivity and empathy for the people around you. You have that acute power of observation and learn of the needs of other people by reflecting on your own gifts and deficiencies.

Loving and accepting oneself is the first step before you venture into loving others. You need to be sufficiently equipped with love for your own self so that you will have a complete sense of fulfillment in loving someone other than yourself. We gain the ability to easily show kindness and compassion to others who are less fortunate, we show sympathy and sincere consolation to those who are depressed and broken, and we are quick to pour our hearts to our significant others because we have already loved ourselves. Our good human qualities of altruism and helpfulness are easily evoked because we know how it feels to be loved and helped to rise up from falling.

The benefits of self-love do not just end with the demonstration of good values and qualities. It also buffers and protects us from the abuses of people who take advantage of our goodness and altruism. In relationships, you can easily move on from a breakup because you have self-respect and love to not drown in your own misery and self-pity. You become strong enough to value yourself and to not allow yourself to get pulled down by sadness and depression from a breakup.

A self-loving person and someone who has accepted their own being is a strong and persevering person. They know when to give up and when to fight on without compromising their self-worth and self-respect. They know their limits and have the complete control on when to overcome these limits or respect their boundaries. When faced with disappointments and failures, they do not give up easily and instead strive to work harder and try again. They do not easily give in to negative emotions associated with failures, defeats and disappointments such as sadness, anger, regret and self-pity. If ever they feel sad or depressed, the negative emotions easily pass and they emerge stronger and more focused because of their love for themselves does not allow them to lower their value of themselves as persons.

The most important underlying reason for us to love and accept ourselves is because we are loved by God first and foremost. His love for us is so great that aside from creating us from His own image, He gave His only son Jesus to save us from our spiritual debt and offer us salvation and a chance to be reunited with God. Also, our bodies are considered God’s temple and should thus be taken utmost care to live a fruitful and purpose-driven life. So go ahead and apply that famous line from Justin Bieber’s song: you should go and love yourself.

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