Luther Ingram once sang, “If Loving You is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right.” However, the love he sang about was a forbidden love. Even today, there are probably many forbidden loves that you have either yearned for or held onto. There is nothing wrong admiring someone or being attracted to someone you have met. However, it is important that you not only identify your love interest, but that you also determine if your interest is just that, or if it is an intention to go after and love something or someone who is either not yours to love or someone who is not able to reciprocate the love you would like to give.
Although there is nothing wrong with loving someone else, it is imperative that you engage in an in-depth exploration and investigation of your level of freedom to not only actively love the person in your eyes and in your heart, but to also decide that next to God, the first love you should have is the one you have for yourself. I am not talking about self-love that is selfish, arrogant, vain, and egotistical, I am talking about self-love that puts you first. This love is one that embraces self, mind, body, and spirit. It is nonnegotiable, and there is no price that can be placed on this love, materially or otherwise. It is a limitless love, which you will share with others, but never compromise. It is the love where you are number one, after God, and you are not ashamed to show it.
From an early age, it seems as if we are socialized to believe that loving yourself is being selfish, careless, and above all a sin. And we wonder why there are so many people, especially girls and women who are walking around (barely) with low self-esteem, low or no self-confidence, seeing and believing in the less of themselves, rather than seeing and believing in the more of themselves. Girls and women are taught to be selfless, while boys and men are not only taught to selfish, they are allowed to do so, encouraged to do so, and selfishness is seen as a positive attribute for them, rather than a negative attribute.
How in the hell can you love someone else, when you don’t even love yourself? It’s a fallacy to believe that you or anyone else can give and share something on the outside, when you have been punished, penalized, and barred from embracing it on the inside. That attribute is called LOVE.
The value you have and show for and to yourself is the base and basis of the love that you need in order for you to move through life, without shame and without regret. The love that you have for yourself allows you to make decisions without doubt, to stand erect and walk in your own shadow and not in the shadows of others, allowing yourself to be you, instead of being a wannabe. Aside from God’s love, the greatest love that you can possess is self-love, and there is nothing wrong with you loving you!
Self-hatred is a form of suicide. It takes away your ability to breathe, to live, and to love. Self-hatred is the catalyst for self-harm and self- destruction, It permeates your very being, allowing you to walk around in a sea of hurt. Hurt people hurt! Love then becomes the exception and not the norm, especially when it is love for you!
You don’t have to make excuses for you to love yourself, and you owe no one an explanation. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t and you don’t need permission to love you; it was given to you when you were born. By the mere fact that you were created out of love, no matter what the circumstances were, you are love. Your name is love; your eyes, your body, your mind, and your spirit indicate love. Love is…and love is you! And if loving you is wrong, you should never want to be right!
Your love for others starts with the love that you have for yourself. You cannot give something that you don’t have. If you don’t have the freedom to believe that you have the right to love yourself, you will never be free to love or believe that you have the right to love others. And if you don’t believe that you are worthy of loving yourself, you won’t believe that you deserve love from anyone else. Hence, you allow yourself to be misused and abused. You will find yourself neglecting yourself, not taking care of yourself, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. You will also allow your physical appearance to become neglected, believing you should shop and buy items for everyone but YOU! You are then helpless and hopeless, rendering yourself to continuous heartbreak and situations with heartless men and women. It is time for you to STOP THE MADNESS! If loving you is wrong, that means something is wrong with you; and it’s not!
If you have ever doubted the love you have for yourself, and if you don’t believe in yourself, you doubt yourself, all because of your self-hatred. This Valentine’s Day is a great start for you to begin to love yourself unconditionally, without guilt and without shame. Valentine’s Day is only the start for you to continue engaging in self-love 365 days of the year. And if you must spend Valentine’s Day or any other day with you, there is nothing wrong with that. You are the MIPW…the most important person in the world! And who wouldn’t want tot spend time with you? If you are not willing to love you and spend time with you, why should anyone else? Think about it!
As you give yourself permission to love yourself unconditionally, realizing that, “If Loving Me is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right,” here are a few homework exercises in which you can engage.
Take out pen and paper and write down:
· Five (5) positive characteristics about yourself
· How you see yourself and how you feel about yourself
· Five (5) things you need to forgive yourself for and let go
· Five (5) reasons as to what you can do and will do to exude self-love
· Decide on one (1) day of the week that you will designate as YOUR day. Identify that day on your weekly calendar. Nothing and no one should be allowed to interfere with that day. You will use that day to focus on you and pamper yourself. Get a massage, go to a movie with yourself, and engage in other positive and safe things with yourself or a friend.
· Decide to buy yourself a personal item each and every pay period, as well as getting your hair done professionally, at least once a month.
· Identify those persons and situations in your life that do not exude love and positivity, are disrespectful, abusive, and misuse you. Devise a plan to eliminate these people from your life immediately!
· Identify your negative views and negative perceptions of yourself. If they are filled with contempt, and self-hatred, seek professional help
· If needed, seek psychotherapy to help you to learn to accept yourself, love yourself, and to be yourself, unconditionally
If loving you is wrong, you should never want to be right!
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