When you take loving care of yourself, an interesting thing happens. It helps other people take loving care of themselves.
The other day I wasn’t feeling very well, and after much hemming and hawing and rumination, I finally cancelled a meeting, albeit reluctantly. I knew it was the most loving thing for me to do for me. The other person texted back that my cancelling worked out perfectly for them, as they really were short of time to get ready for an upcoming trip and could use the extra time, although they would have made the meeting. That person was less stressed and relieved, and my family was happy for me to be home that morning. Their ease uplifted me. The love and good feeling circulated all around. All good!
Of course, this is a process that happens in baby steps. When we remember how we were unloving to ourselves and thus to others in the past, the first step is to forgive ourselves. We forgive ourselves for thinking we could have done it any differently at the time. We truly were doing the best we could.
We never know what effect our actions will have on those around us. But when we do something out of love for ourselves, it just spreads more love. It can allow and support someone to do something more loving for themselves. We are doing something for ourselves, in love, not against anyone else. Love begets more love. And it starts with loving ourselves. The best we can at the present moment.