One and the SameWhen you really help yourself, you help others.When you really help others, you help yourself.
In the teachings of compassion, there is a paradoxical insight: When we really take care of ourselves, we take care of others; when we really take care of others, we take of ourselves. This might make some sense in the corona-world, but this is always the case. This is a good mark of real love. Though we may not see it clearly, but if it hurts either one, it hurts both. Being selfish or self-sacrificing hurts both ourselves and others in the long run.
This is the case, because there is no real solid boundary between ourselves and others in reality. We are deeply interconnected with others and everything else in the universe. But our ego artificially creates a solid boundary around ourselves that leads to a life long fight against reality and hence we struggle and suffer.
There is also another simple reason for this: We have only one brain/mind which determines our well-being, our love and happiness, our thoughts and emotions, etc. Though this is obvious, but we go on missing it. We do not have one brain for ourselves and another one for others. When we hate anyone, we poison ourselves. When we harden our heart against anyone, we hurt ourselves. There is only one love and it is our being. When we cultivate it, our nature becomes loving.
We hate and hurt ourselves or others because of our own misunderstanding and ignorance. When we suffer, it spills over and we end up hurting others, often the people who are very close to us. So it is essential to cultivate self-compassion and take care of our emotions and feelings skillfully. Hence meditation is one of the greatest act of love!