If asked how we should love, one may quote “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This is a good thing to do, but rarely do we love a neighbor as we truly love our own selves. Having said that, there may actually be someone who will care for and show love to a neighbor more than they love themselves. It seems a bit paradoxical, but if we are honest with ourselves, this could be a truth.
What does it truly mean to “Love Thyself?” We know that love is a heavenly trait and that “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) This is divine love. Can we actually love ourselves in a divine way? If our bodies are the “temple of the Holy Spirit” and our bodies also include our minds and emotions, then we should so love ourselves as God would love us. Maybe that sounds too lofty to some readers, but taking a hard look at our lives and what we do to and with ourselves mentally…or even physically may be the route to self-love.
How we choose to see ourselves is very important.
The following are some good quotes and advice from Dr.Melanie Greenberg in an article written for Psychology Today:
To Your Ownself be True:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Value and Love Yourself:
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” Malcolm S. Forbes
“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting”. William Shakespeare, Henry V.
Let’s look at the practical side of Loving Oneself. I’ll list these for your thoughts:
- You have just spent hours and hours cooking for Christmas guests. Now, take yourself out for a treat if possible and let someone else serve you.
- Your house guests or family might show little appreciation for your efforts over the years. Do what you do because you are a giving, caring person who is not looking for praise, but self-enjoyment and gratification. Let your grown children off the apron strings.
- Perhaps you look around you and you think to yourself, “I must be a pack-rat. Look at this mess!” Get 2 big boxes. Label them KEEP and GOODWILL (Charity) It will be surprising how good you will feel about yourself after you have accomplished this simple task. Accomplishment leads to self-appreciation.
- When your feelings are hurt because of the “drama” caused by others, decide that the drama makers won’t take over your life.
A good New Year’s Resolution to say (or pray) is this:
“I am strong; I am weak. I am flawed; I am broken. I am vulnerable. I am human. And despite these flaws, I give myself permission to love myself unconditionally. I am a growing, evolving being, who uses past mistakes as a fuel for my journey of growth. I accept myself as I am, and I set an intention to become the person I want to be.”
A “Love Letter” written to us through the Holy Scriptures can give you the confidence and ability to love yourself through God’s love. He will be your greatest Encourager.