Self-love and selflessness

Our son, Inigo, is a homeschooling Grade 8.

Amidst the plenty of exchanges of thoughts about school, friends, and the latest in Legos and Marvel heroes, we got a fairly different chit-chat with him in one afternoon of March. Together with Nelson, we were interviewed by our precious son. We believed it was one of his school projects.

With the look of love and earnest wonder, Inigo asked us interesting questions about self-love and selflessness.

Today on the blog, I am proud to share how he collectively narrated his first-ever interview conducted in the comfort of our home.

A Reflection Paper About Selflessness vs Self-Love by Iñigo G. Bautista

Among the many values from the book Old Path to Loving Relationships, I chose the topics about selflessness and self-love because these two traits are quite hard for me to comprehend. Loving myself while being selfless, how is that possible? This looked like an irony for me and was difficult to apply simultaneously in my daily life. I want to know more about selflessness and self-love from the people I look up to, my beloved parents.

In an interview I conducted earlier, I asked my parents if they have trouble loving themselves while being selfless people. I have learned that a lot of people like my parents have similar questions and problems to mine. I was not alone.

I was surprised to know that my mom has trouble loving herself as she believes everyone has. During her younger days, she thought that self-love is just about being carefree and mindlessly not having to control herself on doing the things she wanted to do. And as she aged, she later realized that self-love should equate to taking good care of our own body, spirit, and mind. She mentioned that meditating, drinking enough water, eating the right food, exercising, reading a good book, and sleeping eight hours a day are very important things if we are serious about loving ourselves.

When I asked my dad about selflessness, he said that he doesn’t have trouble being selfless because he is very inclined to support others. He’s a nurse educator. He pointed out that it is good to be selfless although this needs moderation. Being selfless means giving time, money, or effort to others. Sometimes it is hard to be selfless but that’s because we have limited resources. We cannot pour from an empty cup, as wise people say. We should put everything in moderation including helping others.

I believe that this learning and realization will help me nourish good relationships as I journey through life. Although I’m still growing and young, I can already apply selflessness and self-love every day. Self-love or self-care should come first. Only then we can be selfless. Doing so, like mom, I will try to take good care of my well-being by practicing gratitude, getting some sunlight, drinking more water, limiting screentime, and going to bed early. With these good habits that fed my body and mind, it will not be hard to be selfless of my time and effort. Helping others like my friends, classmates, and relatives with their needs will be easy-peasy because I am healthy to do that for them. A wise reminder though from my dad that I should not be on the losing end. There should be something left spared for me.

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