"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind'. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
We hear this a lot in church. More often than not, the focus is on either love of God or love of neighbor. Rarely is the focus on love of self.
This is because love of self often gets confused with selfishness. Selfish pride, selfish desires, selfish actions. However, this is not the result of love of self. Selfishness is the result of a wounded self, a needy self that hasn't been cared for, that hasn't been shown compassion - it is the opposite of self-love.
In truth, it is in practicing true compassion towards ourselves that we are really able to have compassion for others. It is when we recognize and accept our wounds, our scars, and our weaknesses that we are able to accept those things in others and have compassion and empathy for others. It is through loving our whole self that we are able to love others. And it is through relationship with God that we are able to come to this place of radical self-love. The love of God provides us with the strength, encouragement and compassion to see ourselves as we are and to love ourselves. Relationship with God allows us to, however momentarily, see ourselves as God sees us and experience the love God has for us. This love is the love we are called to have for ourselves and for others.
We must repent of the ways we avoid ourselves and God. Repent of the ways we are cruel to ourselves and turn towards the light of God's love so that we may truly practice loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Here's today's audio meditation:
(apologies for missing a few days -- I was sick, then I was catching up from being sick)