Loving yourself entails many different choices. It means stopping the critical voice that plays in your head every time you put those blue jeans on that are just a little bit too tight, it means giving yourself a pep talk whenever you need one and reminding yourself just how awesome you really are, it means taking care of yourself every day not because your partner wants you to look good but because you value yourself enough to look your best. Practicing self-love means allowing yourself to engage in masturbation so you can pleasure yourself and become a good teacher for your partner. Self-love means saying no taking care of others if that happens at the exclusion of taking care of yourself. This does not mean practicing a lifestyle of “Every man for himself”. It means sitting down and taking an honest inventory of the kinds of things you do which make you feel your best and then figuring out a way to get more of that into your life. If that means scheduling it into your Google calendar then do that.
Should you sacrifice yourself to save another person?
When I think about this I frame it by thinking of the little talk the flight attendants give at the beginning of each flight. They say, “If the oxygen masks drop down, place your oxygen mask on your own face before attempting to assist another person.” This means, do not sacrifice your own self in order to help another person. I think about this whenever I think about whether or not I would stop by the side of the road at the scene of an accident. I would. Would I immediately begin CPR on someone who was not breathing? That depends on a few things. It would first and foremost depend on my blood sugar levels. So I would take the 5 seconds needed to test my blood sugar. Why? Because if my blood sugar is low and I expend the tremendous amount of energy which would be required to perform CPR on someone else, I run the risk of my blood sugar falling to a dangerously low level. If that happens, I could end up passing out and then I would be no good to the accident victim or myself. Yes, I know that sounds selfish but practicing self love means knowing when to put yourself first.