Love is not the reward, the goal, or the dream. Love is where it all begins.

Love yourself, first and forever. Everything begins with love, and your great life story starts with the love for yourself.

Love yourself because you are human, and by that simple fact alone you are worthy of love and belonging.

Love yourself like you would love the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, because there is only one person for whom that’s true: you. The most important relationship of your life is the one you have with yourself.

Love yourself because your capacity for loving others flows from the love you have for yourself, first. Without loving yourself, the well you draw from in life will eventually run dry, leaving you strained and exhausted mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Love yourself when you feel like you deserve it the least, because that’s when you’ll need it the most. We are fiercely powerful beings that can be devastatingly hard on ourselves, to an unreasonable detriment of our own well-being.

Love yourself no matter what your family, friends, community, culture, or society may have convinced you of otherwise. Our world today operates on a manufactured culture of scarcity, of lack, with the unintended consequence of making us feel insufficient, incomplete, inadequate. Of making us feel like we are not allowed to love ourselves, unconditionally.

Imagine a better world tomorrow, where people are actively taught to love themselves instead of fearing others. Where children are taught to be respectful of others not for being elder, or an authority figure, or successful or wealthy or whatever else, but simply because all humans are worthy of love, respect, and belonging. A world where kindness, compassion, and supporting one another are the virtues we value most, and extend those to our foes as well as our allies. A world where we build bridges of love instead of walls of isolation.

That world begins with reimagining our own way of thinking, about ourselves as well as others. It begins with treating self-love as the highest virtue from which we grow our capacity to unconditionally love our family, our friends, our community, and society at large. But: “self-love” can have different meanings to different people.

Love First defines self-love as: the unconditional acceptance of who you are and your worthiness of love and belonging.

It means knowing, and remembering whenever necessary, that you belong with us as one brilliant, beloved part of the human race. It means recognizing that mistakes and transgressions are not cause for exile, but opportunities for restoration and learning. It means acknowledging room for personal growth without diminishing your self-worth for what is, essentially, a universal trait: being a flawed human being. Just like everyone else.

Faruk Ateş

Faruk Ateş

Faruk Ateş is a comedian, storyteller, and time traveler (in reverse). A recovering software engineer and product designer, he is now creating Love First.

Welcome to Love First

Love First is a 21st century way of life, centered around the premise that we are our best selves, and enjoy our best outcomes, whenever we act through the holistic lens of love, first.

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