“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
― Gautama Buddha
This is probably one of my favorite quotes. In my work, as well as in other areas of my life, I’ve seen far too many miserable people, putting themselves last, which is often a result of low self-esteem. Mistakenly there are individuals who believe that always putting others first is a good thing. After all, putting yourself first means that you’re conceited, self-centered, and ego driven, right? Wrong. Putting yourself last will only make you a martyr. And martyrs end up feeling used, filled with bitterness and resentment.
Low self-esteem is a sign that you don't love or care for yourself enough.
It’s like the seatbelt analogy…
When you take a plane trip, the flight attendant tells passengers that in case of emergency to put on their oxygen mask first, before helping their children, or others dependent on them. If you think about it a moment, this strategy makes sense. If someone needs oxygen, can’t put their mask on, and you can’t breathe and they’re depending on you, it won’t take long before you’re both in deep trouble.
Please don’t misunderstand. There are times when you cannot put yourself first—when it’s necessary to make a sacrifice of some sort for someone else as an act of caring. In fact, it takes immense insight to realize when helping another is essential and being able to differentiate when help could be harmful. But if you are worn out, tired from helping others who have the ability to help themselves, you have to stop and ask yourself ‘why am I doing this?'
Remember --you deserve your love and affection...