What makes one love oneself? Perhaps, a rather tricky question, but nonetheless a fair one. Initially, it sounds rather arrogant. We all know of people who are quite self-absorbed but that doesn’t have anything to do with love. That, I believe is mostly fear. Loving oneself on the other hand has a lot to do with how we understand what love is. How we understand love, has a lot to do with how we experience other people. Generally, we equate love with a positive experience, that is, until we have a negative experience of “love”. As a result, if we are not careful we spend a lot of time wondering if we ever understood love at all. I have yet to decide which is worse; to not know love or to be confused about it. It is at this point in our lives when we think that something is missing. We try desperately to discern what it is and we look everywhere and try everything that seems to make sense. Then one day we realize that perhaps love is not missing it was simply hidden, unable to reveal itself because we’ve been looking in all the wrong places and trying all the wrong things. These places and things are external to the consciousness of the spirit that holds within it Perfect Love. These external places and things are loud, and distracting because they have many goals and desires that are unnecessary to the Perfect Love that we seek. The true spirit of love within is quiet and focused because it only has one goal, one desire. That one goal, one desire is to be reconciled to its original creator, whose only purpose is to love because it is Perfect. Eventually, we realize that we must be still (not participating in the distractions), long enough so that this Perfect Love has an opportunity to reveal itself. Furthermore, this original love that is perfect, exists without conditions. In our humanness, which is created by this original love, we have only to consciously believe that this original love that is perfect does exist. Since out of this Perfect Love (the original creator), humankind is created in its image, then, like the parent that loves a not-so perfect handcrafted mother’s day gift from her child, you love what is “perfectly” created because of the one who created it. So too, you love the self even in its imperfectness, because of the one who originally created it. If we believe (and I certainly do) that God is both the original creator of self and Perfect Love, then to love the self, is to love God – even though humankind as it is, sees the self as imperfect. God sees the self perfectly. Since it is Perfect Love that creates each of us in its image, then to love one another is to love God. To love God is to love one another. To love self is to love God. To love self is to one another. Love yourself and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Genesis 1:1, 26-27, 31 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth… God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image…So God created humankind; in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Matthew 22:36-40 ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “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.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.