Is Loving Others Without Loving Ourselves First Possible?


It had been one of those weeks.

By Friday night, my inbox was full, my fridge was empty and my blood pressure was off the charts.

The stress of another 70-hour week at a startup nonprofit caught up with me. But the icing on the cake was the unpleasant encounter from earlier that week, when I’d allowed myself to be bullied in public by an acquaintance.

Why did taking the high road feel so awful?

After ruminating in stress and frustration all week, I opted to start my weekend peacefully. I figured I’d decompress by listening to the infinite wisdom of mindfulness expert Thich Nhat Hanh on an audiobook, light a bunch of candles and take pride in how well I was taking care of myself.

But my Amazon search was quickly rendered useless since the audiobook wasn’t available in my Canadian city. Before I could express my fury at how the internet hates Canada, my phone started buzzing with a chain of rapid-fire group text messages from my boss and a co-worker about a work issue. Furiously, at 10 p.m. on a Friday night, I was back on the job, still steeping in rage about the bully and the audiobook (which—ironically enough—was titled Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames).

By about 10:15 p.m., I’d given up on my self-care attempts. It was too much work.

This is an excerpt from an article originally published on RELEVANT. See the full version here>>