Someone asked us the other day, "How can I be selfless, and at the same time practice self-love?"
Well, that's a great question, and highlights some very misunderstood concepts. First, let's look at what it means to be selfless.
Generally, people associate doing things for others as selflessness. It's true, practicing altruism is one way to tame the ego and learn to act from your higher self. Therefore, you become selfless--or you act without serving the small self, the ego. Review what we had to say in the book about how altruism works.
Self-love means that you finally stop judging yourself, attend to your own health and mental well-being because you know your true self-worth. We tend to be our own worst critics and when we beat ourselves up over the things we think we've done wrong, we are exercising judgment. If the result is that we end up punishing ourselves by over-eating, drinking to excess, tuning out, etc.; we aren't loving ourselves. Self-love means understanding that sometimes, we have acted from the ego and the things we did are less-than-admirable, but those actions are not who we really are. We forgive ourselves, stop punishing and judging, and we love and nurture our true self. We can only truly treat others with that same sort of unconditional love if that is the kind of self-love we exercise. In that way, self-love is that path to real selflessness. Loving thy neighbor as thyself means that you can only give what you have inside.
We hope that this helps!