Nor am I talking about the person who can’t tear their eyes from a mirror. That is narcissism. There is an ancient Greek story of a Narcissus, who was so proud of his looks that when he saw his image reflected in a pool, he could not stop staring at it. He died because he was unable to tear himself away from the image. That is not self-love. That is insanity.
I am talking about the kind of self-love that is associated with authentic confidence and shines so brightly that people are attracted to it like iron to a magnet.
I will admit that I would rather a person love themselves too much, than not enough. People who don’t love themselves enough are prone to self-destruction.
If we look at Ruth for example, Ruth took a huge risk staying with Naomi. There is some level of self-preservation that goes along with self-love, but Ruth was able to walk into the bed chambers of a man and present herself as a grown woman. You can’t do that without real confidence and you can’t have real confidence unless you have real love for yourself.
Not once did Ruth seem arrogant. Not once did she put down someone else to make herself feel better. Not once did Ruth put herself down and consider her looks as a liability. It doesn’t state that she saw herself as a great beauty.
But she knew.
She just knew that she was beautiful. She loved herself enough to believe that she was beautiful. When you think about it, it is possible to be beautiful and not know it. I see it all the time. But when you know that you are beautiful—when you love yourself. You are going to carry yourself in a certain way.
It is those who have learned to carry themselves as if they don’t have to tell anyone that they are beautiful; that really know what it means to be beautiful. Sounds odd—yes? For example, the person who feels the need to tell everyone how sexy they are via t-shirt, screen saver or car tag, is more than likely attempting to convince themselves that they are sexy or prove to themselves that they are sexy. The Ruth type woman doesn’t have to convince or prove anything. She just knows.
Because she loves herself.
Next Post:= The importance of loving yourself part II: A look at Jesus, Ruth’s descendent.