I am not talking about selfish love or egoistical love but love that wants others to be well and happy. Sometimes we forget we need to love ourselves as well, as much as others. It is only when we are kind to ourselves then we can spread our heartfelt love to others. In the process of offering compassionate love to others, we should not neglect our well-being in order to do that.
It is in our work culture to continue to work even when are sick. We get to office even with a bad flu or feeling under the weather. Work takes priority and personal health is cast aside.
Some years back, I was nursing an influenza but I continued to go to the polytechnic. I was lecturing to a group of students and was coughing badly. During the break, I walked out the lecture theatre and panic attack gripped me. I felt faint and had to sit on the bench. Staff and students were passing by, but I did not want them to know that I need assistance. (Too proud to ask for help or was it embarrassment?) Good thing, I came to my consciousness and calmed down sufficiently to get back to my second part of the lecture. My students were no wiser that I could have been sent to hospital during the break. I consider myself very lucky that no major harm came to me but I had this memory that was still etched in my mind.
We seem to have this notion that we should not trouble our colleagues to cover for us when we are sick. We thought that this is the acceptable “work ethic”. I saw too many of these in my jobs in the past. Some were not so fortunate and paid a price. By which time, it is too late to realise the folly of this “work ethic”. When we love ourselves, we can take the compassionate approach to treating ourselves. We need the same care like how we care for others.
Love yourself first before you love others. Spread this love and be kind to all including yourself and all other living beings that too wanted to be happy.