Love VS Selfishness: how to accept yourself and attract happiness?

Of all types of love, the highest and most mature is that which gives itself without the hope of receiving anything in return. Of course, we all want to receive love, but a mature person continues to love even if he does not experience love in return. Such love is called sacrificial, or selfless, and is most fully manifested in the love of a good parent. Selfless love does not calculate how much has been given and whether it is time to stop. Selfless love does not know this kind of calculation.

One of the deepest aspirations of man is the search for selfless love. However, as we grow, we also need to experience conditional love. Such love, guided by moral principles and expectations, calls us to follow the path of spiritual growth, to strive for the unattainable. For example, parents may feel proud or disappointed depending on their children's success. In this sense, parental love can be earned. It helps children become more independent and responsible for their actions. The knowledge that we managed to make someone happy brings us incomparable joy. It boosts our self-esteem and makes us feel worthwhile. Of course, parental love should be patient and forgiving, but it should also help us grow by making certain demands on us.

Love with conditions, however, can lead to detrimental consequences, leaving us with the bitter feeling that we are not loved for our personality, but only for the fact that we please someone. In this case, love, being immature and selfish, turns out to be simply a tool of control and prevents the manifestation of our true self. We must fulfill certain conditions, and only then can we receive love:

"I will love you if you love me." “I will be your friend if you are friends with me.” Of course, we are often also unselfish in our love. Most of us are forced to struggle with internal fears and limitations. We are afraid to show our love freely. We are faced with endless doubts. Can I express my feelings freely? Will I be rejected? Can I trust this person? Will I be able to find what I'm looking for in this relationship? Will I be able to overcome my dislike for the traits that irritate me in another person? All these doubts inevitably impose certain restrictions on us. And under these conditions it is not so easy to maintain a loving heart.

Selfless love

Selfless love gives us a deep sense of harmony, security and peace in our souls. Selfless love means that we are loved for who we are, not for what we do. We are loved not because we fulfill certain conditions, but because of our individuality. Of course, this does not mean that we should always remain the same, that we should not try to reveal ourselves. In an atmosphere of selfless love, we can allow our potential to flourish without fear of losing the love that is so important to us. Selfless love gives us the opportunity to believe in ourselves, feel valued, and strengthens our sense of self-worth. How can you know when you have found such love? You know that you are loved unselfishly if there is nothing that would separate you from this love. Even your possible mistakes and mistakes will not change this. And if in a relationship with another person you know that you can forgive any wrong actions he has committed, if you know that there is nothing that would separate him from your love, then it means that you love this person selflessly. If only our hearts have been opened and deeply touched by another person, then most likely we will feel connected to that person for the rest of our lives, regardless of what our actual relationship will be like. When we love unselfishly, we are more and more able to love the whole world. Every person becomes our brother or sister. This is the whole point of Christianity - to teach all people love and unity with all humanity, all brothers and sisters, as with their own family.

Altruism - or unwillingness to deal with one's own problems?

One of the problems with Christians is that they become completely absorbed in the problems of others. It is not right. A person’s task is to learn to solve his own problems with God’s help, and he can help his neighbor, but without forgetting about his calling. Otherwise, his life turns into a constant struggle with other people’s problems, but this is not what the Lord called us to do. He called us to a happy and joyful life in the Kingdom of Heaven, and this is what we strive for. Mountains of piled-up other people's problems do not contribute to this.

In this regard, we recall the well-known prayer: “Lord, give me the courage to change what I can change, the humility to accept what I cannot change, and give me the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.” It is impossible to embrace the immensity. There is a cross that everyone must bear themselves.

False love

But is this really achievable? We may imagine the ideal of true love, but for most people the reality is far from this. We all strive for ideal love, but how many people have tried to love and were offended, deceived and disappointed? Every year there are more people who want to separate than there are people who want to get married. Why are there so many failures? People get married or have sexual relations because they think they have fallen in love with each other. But if it was true love, would it disappear so quickly? There seems to be a huge difference between true love and what we mistake for love. It is easy to be deceived by false love. False and true love start out the same way, and for a while they even look alike. But the consequences are exactly the opposite. True love does not set any conditions, it is selfless and unchanging, and brings true joy and happiness. At the same time, false love is aimed primarily at the benefit of oneself, and not the other, to fulfill one’s own needs and desires. Therefore, false love sets conditions and is variable.

At first, false love may seem unselfish, but in the end it will not bring either joy or happiness, because at its root lie fickle, selfish feelings: “I want, I need, I desire.” Selfish desires can never be satisfied, so satisfaction never comes. Nobody wants false love, and yet we often suffer from it.

A few words about health and self-development

Loving yourself means taking moderate care of your health. This is necessary not to look younger than your age, but to avoid becoming helpless. It is a sin to deliberately cause illnesses, because then a person cannot help either himself or his neighbors, and becomes a burden to them. It is important to take care of your health in order to be active and productive. Self-love is both good education and self-development. A person who has the opportunity to do his job efficiently and professionally has a much wider field of opportunities to help the people around him. The world does not stand still, and it is wrong to lag behind it.

Revival of the ideal of love

The wounds caused by false love are passed on from generation to generation, and it is very difficult to heal them or reverse the trend of selfish love. Today, many people are coming to understand that they should look back and turn to the ideal of family as a school of love. Most of us spend the first two decades of our lives with families. This is the time when our very existence and development primarily depend on our parents. Therefore, it is in the family that our experiences become most profound; they influence our entire subsequent life. In the family we learn how to build relationships, how to love, how to behave, how to distinguish between good and evil. Most psychologists believe that the foundation of a child's personality is laid by the age of five; Our self-esteem is based on whether we are loved and how we are loved. Even a baby feels whether he is loved and needed. An atmosphere of support and love helps to develop a human personality with spiritual maturity and self-esteem. So, before every person entering an independent life, the question arises: how to find the greatest love, the most beautiful, the most lasting unfading love? How to find the most precious, most sacred love? How to find forever love?

Give in and not conflict for the sake of peace in the soul

Loving yourself means not suing your neighbors, giving in in disputes, putting yourself in a disadvantageous position for the sake of maintaining peace. The Lord teaches us this: “But I say to you: do not resist evil. But whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him; and whoever wants to sue you and take your shirt, give him your outer clothing too; and whoever forces you to go one mile with him, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks from you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:39-42). Why is this so, it’s not profitable? In fact, it’s still beneficial, and everyone who has been sued understands this well—you wouldn’t wish that on your enemy! What about the division of property? - also a nightmare. It’s easier to give everything and live in peace than to endure litigation that lasts for decades. So, self-love is giving in to your neighbors, smoothing out conflicts in order to maintain peace in your soul.

So, loving yourself is not a bad thing. Christianity gave the world a fundamentally new coordinate system in which a person can exist. Loving yourself in a Christian way means living according to your conscience, loving your parents, spouses and children, avoiding conflicts, learning virtues and goodwill. It is important for a person to care not about earthly successes and benefits, but to strive for the future life, for God and the Kingdom of Heaven.

Archpriest Alexander Khvorost

How to find selfless love?

Notice people who love and appreciate you and do not impose conditions and unrealistic demands on you. People who are confident in themselves will allow you to be yourself and will perceive you as you are. Be around people who make you feel confident. And try to be the same for others.

The world is full of judges. Maintain relationships with people who will not criticize and judge you, and you will see that you have become much calmer - after all, you are not on trial, but you should not judge others. We must learn to love each other and not judge each other.

Make sure that the person who unselfishly loves you always agrees with you and does not demand anything from you. Selfless love and just a good attitude are two different things. Sometimes a person agrees with you only because he doesn’t want to upset you or spoil the relationship. If a person loves unselfishly, then he will try to make the one he loves better. However, he will not stop loving him, even if he does something wrong. Someone may expect more from you and encourage you to strive for it, but regardless of whether you achieve it, you will continue to be loved. And you should treat other people the same way.

Treat yourself well. Stop criticizing yourself for minor shortcomings. Pay attention to your strengths and good qualities and notice even small changes for the better. The better you feel about yourself, the greater your self-confidence will be, and this will help you treat others better.

Selfishness and self-love are different concepts

Egoism is a type of thinking and behavior in which a person seeks personal gain and benefit for himself in everything. The name is derived from the Latin word ego - “I”. The egoist asserts himself at the expense of others. To increase his own self-esteem and sense of self-worth, he puts others down. Selfishness goes hand in hand with aggression.

Self-love is not selfishness. This is taking care of yourself, your mental and physical state. A mature person understands that self-care is not limited to maintaining a sleep, work and rest schedule, proper nutrition, physical activity, buying useful things, etc. A mature person understands that caring for oneself involves caring for someone else. After all, when a loved one feels good, then we feel good too. For example, a mother’s heart is calm when her child’s relationships with classmates improve. The wife stops worrying about her husband when his situation at work stabilizes, and at the same time his mental state normalizes, etc.

Thus, selfishness and self-love are not only different concepts, but also directly opposite. A selfish person will never care about anyone else. For him, people are tools in achieving personal goals. A person with self-love lives with love and respect for the whole world.

Interesting! German psychologist Erich Fromm believed that selfishness is a symptom of a person’s dislike for himself.

You are the center of your life

Perhaps many will not agree with me, but I believe that it is normal for a modern person to make himself the center of his life. Not parents, children, lovers, God, country, work, but yourself. And I see several reasons for this:

  • You and only you are the only indisputable proof of your own life.
  • Until proven otherwise, you only have one life and it belongs only to you. Not the state, not the parents, but you.
  • You are the only living being who is with you throughout your entire life, from your first breath to your last.
  • There is not a single person in the world for whom your interests would be higher than their own, and this is normal. If they convince you otherwise, don’t believe it.
  • You are the only person you can trust 100% and it is very sad if this is not the case.

It's even worse if you're not honest with yourself in order to appear better. Whenever you look in the mirror, you should know who is in front of you. Lie to others, never lie to yourself.

  • You are the one you can truly count on.

Everyone is now repeating the phrase “no one owes anyone anything,” as if under a spell, as if common sense and their own point of view have completely been lost to them. In principle, I share this view, but only partly, since the concept of “debt” is present in the world for a reason, which means, after all, someone owes something to someone - this is a topic for a separate big conversation . Now I want to say that you are the only person who really owes you something. Always demand from yourself first.

  • You are the only one who needs you and who you truly need.

People around us appear and disappear. They become attached to us, fall in love, hate, support or set us up, but all this is temporary. Yes, we can be sad, sad, bored, hard, lonely, deadly lonely without someone - but none of these conditions are fatal. But, unfortunately, we cannot live without ourselves.

You are the one you really need!

Perhaps after reading this you will be horrified: “What selfishness!
What self-obsession! You can not do it this way!" . But it seems more likely than it actually is, and now I’ll explain why.


Narcissism, inflated self-esteem, and demands for special treatment, characteristic of narcissists, are also not signs of love. Thus, people try to disguise many of their problems. They are very vulnerable and sensitive and do not know how to live in objective reality.

Some signs of narcissists

  • Confidence in one's own exclusivity, significance, genius and infallibility.
  • The desire to be admired and worshiped by everyone. Expectation of special treatment.
  • Impatience of any criticism addressed to oneself.
  • The desire to live in special comfort and luxury, because no matter how much they deserve it.
  • Boastfulness, most often groundless, to attract attention and cause envy.
  • Reduced ability to empathize.
  • They rarely suffer from feelings of guilt and shame.
  • Arrogance.
  • Excessive self-confidence.
  • Ambition.
  • Painful experience of one’s perceived shortcomings, the desire to hide them from everyone at any cost.
( 1 rating, average 4 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]