I believe a sane person accepts him or herself, and is comfortable in his or her own skin. And they are also comfortable with being selfish, and ensuring that their own needs are met. They understand that if they sacrifice themselves for others, they will diminish and degrade themselves, and ultimately be of use to no one.
Now this leads us to the next question that arises for many. Namely, what about love and relationships?
Love is an expression of your self-esteem. Not to mention an expression of your deepest values. You fall in love with someone who shares these values. And if you truly do love someone, it means that they bring happiness to your life. Or in other words, you love them for purely selfish and personal reasons!
Because if you weren’t in love for this reason, it wouldn’t make sense. If you were in love for a selfless reason, it would mean that you would get no joy or personal pleasure, and are there simply for self-sacrificial pity for that person.
I know a lady on her fourth marriage to a sick, dying guy. Each time she is attracted to someone with a degenerative illness that she nurses for and cares for until they die. BTW, no they are not rich guys and she is not after their money. They’re all poor, and she sacrifices a great deal to care for them.
Most people would say she is a saint. And while I appreciate the unconditional love she has shown these guys, I also think she’s not emotionally well. Even crazy. It looks more to me like a case of someone with serious worthiness issues, trying to make herself worthy.
Her happiness comes from denying herself any personal happiness. It’s kind of like the old joke Republicans used to say about Democrats: They’re not happy unless they’re miserable.
That is not love. It is dysfunctional craziness.
That doesn’t mean that there are not millions of people who would accept that kind of sick, superficial love. There are. But those are the people who live in Victimville. They get their identity from being noble, selfless and downtrodden. The more misery they manifest, the happier they are.
On the surface they seem to be positive expressions of inspiration. But when you get to know them, you discover that they merely want to suck the joy, life and energy from your body. Then, when you are as lifeless as they are, they will be content to know that you share an equal misery.
In a healthy relationship, you choose the person you love, and you fall in love with them because they bring happiness to your life. This is the highest compliment and honor you can ever pay another human being – that you love them for the selfish reason of the happiness and joy they bring you.
I believe if you really have positive self-esteem, you have learned to meet your own needs first, and this is critical to ever experience true happiness.
Now that doesn’t mean you won’t want to help others, do things for the greater good or even sometimes sacrifice something for someone you love. Sometimes you may. But there is a healthy way to do this too. We can explore that more in some future posts. For now, please check in with your thoughts on this.