Recently I was talking with some women and one was lamenting that she didn’t know how to love herself. Another there piped up and said she didn’t think anyone did. Then I stepped into the conversation saying that I did!
It is an unpopular and awkward thing to say. Society acts like it is egotistic to assert or even think that, so we are conditioned not to go there. I have learned to love myself because I’ve nurtured identifying myself, not with my criticisms of myself (bad habits or extra pounds), but instead as God’s image and likeness.
I am made up of and manifest God’s qualities and attributes. If I don’t love those, I’m ungrateful to God. I don’t want to shun God’s gift of me. I’ve learned that to love myself is a very humble thing to do, for it acknowledges that all I am has its source in something other than myself. I rejoice in that and love the unfoldment of that.
In my spiritual practice, where I help people navigate their way out of difficulties, this type of discussion comes up frequently. Just the other day a client was struggling with loving, caring, and advocating for herself, and asked for some articles or something written to help her.
Too often the literature encourages us to love others, forgive them, be generous to everyone. Somehow people overlook that the essential thing about, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” is the necessity of loving yourself first. So instead of looking for literature “out there” to support her, I turned to this blog.
The powerful list of links below are what I sent to her. Then it occurred to me that you all may need these reminders as well:
Love Yourself (Deep Think #16)
“More Blessed to Give than Receive” and Unselfing (Deep Think #12)
As Thyself (poem by Sandra Luerssen Hoerner)
Cultivate a Better Relationship with Yourself (Jim Palmer Quote)
Freedom From Yourself (Deep Think #1)
Hold Close to Your Essential Self
Believe in Yourself (Danna Faulds Quote)
Choose to Know Yourself as These Things
You’re the Result of Yourself (by Pablo Neruda)
Reminding Myself (Poem by Polly Castor)
Slip out of the Noose of Your Anxious Self (Sogyal Rinpoche quote)
The Difference Between Self-Care and Selfishness
So please, love yourself. You are precious, and God-like. You deserve all the best. You are approved of and beloved. You are needed and worthy. You are amazing and necessary, cherished and important. God has blessed all of us with you, please accept the blessing of yourself!
Wonderful Polly! 😊