December 9, 2018

Why Love Begins With Loving Ourselves




“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”—Colossians 3:12-15 (KJV)

This scriptural passage is referring to treating others with love and compassion. How can we do that, if we don’t treat ourselves as tenderly? Charity starts within. Here are some ideas individuals might think, but most of us wouldn’t direct them to anyone else:

“This skirt makes me look fat. I can’t go out looking like this.”

“Why did I say that? I can’t imagine what they’re thinking now.”

“I made too many mistakes during that speech.”

“Why did they ask me to play this song? I’ll probably mess up. Somebody else could do it better.”

If we wouldn’t unleash such criticism on another, why should we allow it to fill our own heads? We have a right to choose our thoughts.

The idea of allowing only positivity can be clarified and expanded. There are some situations in which negativity is obviously inappropriate and counterproductive.  It’s left outside the door:

The Funeral of George H. W. Bush (41st President of the United States)

This memorable statesman recently passed away. Dignitaries attended his funeral, including five current and past U.S. Presidents and First Ladies. Quite naturally, the eulogy was given by Bush’s son, the 42nd President of the U.S., George W. Bush.

The elder Bush couldn’t have been a perfect father, because nobody’s flawless. He had his critics as a politician, too. That’s to be expected. However, his son mentioned mainly memorable times when his father excelled in his roles as a parent and a grandparent. (Aren’t those responsibilities the most important facets of our heritage, anyways?)

Funerals are not the place to vent anger, argue, or criticize.   There’s a reason for the saying, “I don’t want to speak ill of the dead.” Funerals are supposed to be only a showcase for the positive legacy of the dearly departed.

Reba McEntire is a Country Music star. She was also a close friend of the late President. Please enjoy this brief video of her singing “The Lord’s Prayer” at the service. The performance enhanced the uplifting atmosphere. It also brought Bush, the son, to tears:


The Funerals of my Father and my Father-in-law

My husband and I each spoke at our fathers’ funerals. Neither of us had ideal relationships with the men who gave us birth. Still, we spoke only informative, optimistic words at the memorial services.

My Conclusion

“Love brings you face to face with your self. It’s impossible to love another if you cannot love yourself.”—John Pierrakos, from habitsforwellbeing.com
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“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”—Jack Kornfield, from habitsforwellbeing.com

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Is your self-talk compassionate?

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