My husband Daniel and I just got back from having lunch with a friend. On the way back home, I happened to see a church sign that said, "Love God, Love your neighbor, Serve Both." I agree with that statement as far as it goes.
Daniel and I got into a discussion when I told him that the sign left out the most important part of "Love Yourself." Even the Bible says to "Love your neighbor as yourself." Most churches forget the "as yourself" part when they are doing sermons. I can get quite passionate about this topic because I had to learn to love myself before I could truly love anybody else. That is what I believe the Bible quote is telling us.
Back to our discussion, Daniel said, "What about the 20 % of the population (Don't ask me where he got his percentage. He probably made it up to make his point.) that love only themselves?" I told him that is not real love.
Real love is not about being selfish. Loving yourself is not about being selfish. Taking care of yourself so that you are full and able to give to others is different than being so selfish that you are completely self-centered. Ego-centered might be a better way to phrase that. When you are ego filled you have nothing that you want to give to others unless you get something back in exchange for what you have given.
Ego-centered people don't love themselves. They become ego-centered to overcompensate for the fact that they don't love themselves. Ego doesn't want us to love ourselves. It wants us to love it. When you love ego, it feels puffed up and self-important and gratified to be the center of your attention. Ego does nothing for anyone else without expecting something in return. Ego-centered people are constantly striving for the next achievement or the next pay-off so they can feel self-important. The reality is that they are not "self" important. Very often, they hate themselves and are very busy being ego-centered in order to hide their true feelings of self-hatred.
When you truly love yourself, you become spirit-centered or Self-centered. When you become Self-centered, you do everything out of love for God, yourself and others. When you are Self-centered, you listen to your body when it tells you what it needs---rest, food, less food, water, less stress, more exercise. When you are Self-centered you are grounded in the Christ-consciousness that says we are all one. Taking care of your needs is not selfish. It is Selfish. There is a difference.