What does it mean to “love yourself”?

What does it mean to “love yourself”? We all know that to truly be able to love another we have to be able to love ourselves.  I know I’ve heard that all my life and I’ve also shared that with those that I counsel.  Still, people ask… What does that look like, sound like, feel like? Most people feel that caring for themselves is ‘selfish’.  Yet not caring for yourself causes you to feel ‘self-less’. And if you are self-less then who are you? Of course there are times when we act on the behalf of another and not self.  Like when we put the needs of our children before our own.  But that is not something we can do every minute of every day. Our brains simply won’t let that happen. The mind is an amazing thing.  It can not NOT protect us. Therefore, if we always act from a self-less place, we will unconsciously expect someone ‘out there’ to act on our behalf. Oops! That’s what we call an expectation.  And those don’t usually work out too well. But when we truly love ourselves, honor our needs, care for our bodies, and are gentle with our feelings… […]