One of the divine laws committed to us in the Scriptures is a commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is clear that I must love myself. Then I must love my neighbor the same way I love myself.
Loving Myself But Not My Neighbor
Sometimes misinterpretations arise where people love themselves but not their neighbor. By doing bad things against our neighbor like lying to them, stealing from them, cheating them or being unkind, we are not loving them.
Loving My Neighbor More Than Myself
On the other hand, loving my neighbor more than myself can happen when I deprive myself of necessities so my neighbor have them. Take an extreme example, if my neighbor is hungry, it makes sense to share what I have with them. However, if I give them all I have, then stay hungry, I have opted to love my neighbor more than myself.
It is very easy to go overboard either way.
What Does it Really Mean for Me to Love Myself?
I started asking this question as part of my self development. Is it a matter of being sentimental about myself? That can really be morbid.
Love is Gentle and Kind.
As long as I am gentle and kind to myself, I am loving myself. Going into over drive modes and working my brain to the point of exhaustion is not being kind to myself. By being gentle with myself when I fail to reach a goal, I am loving myself. Harsh self talk is not being gentle or kind. I must learn to be gentle and kind to myself.
Love is Not Arrogant or Boastful.
Holding out too long when my physiological needs call for expression is a form of arrogance. I am telling my bladder, “you can overstretch”. By ignoring those needs when they demand expression is a form of self abuse. I have to learn to love myself enough to give my physiologic processes vent when they indicate “it is time to go”.Sorry about that example, but it is not uncommon to try to hold out when we should go.
Love Does Not Insist on its Own Way
The whole idea of being opinionated and thinking that things can be done only the way I want is not being loving. In this respect, loving myself means being open to learn new ways to do things I may think I have mastered.It is easy to reach a position of concession with colleagues to avoid team disruption. I need to learn to reach the right concessions with myself to avoid internal disruptions. I love myself enough not to insist on my own way.
Hatred Stirs Up Conflicts but Love Covers a Multitude of Wrongs
No matter how much I may think I missed it, trashing myself about it will not make it good. Trashing and negative self talk is self-hatred. It will stir up internal conflicts. Needless to say most mental health problems arise from unresolved internal conflicts. So when I have missed it, that is not the time to trash. I pick out two positive things I have done, and process the shortcoming as a sandwich between two positive acts. That will put things in perspective.
I Give Myself Adequate Rest and Sleep as a Sign of love.
This brings us to the origin of this blog and concludes the matter. I am actually too sleepy to work on my site. I can go to bed peacefully and sleep well tonight. By respecting my body’s need for rest I can forget about what I want to do for the moment, love myself enough to go to bed now. I will probably wake up refreshed enough to see clearly how to continue on my site.
Whether this blog makes sense or not is something you may have to figure out. I will be sleeping by the time you finish reading it. If you need to sleep too, love yourself enough to stop reading and give yourself the rest it deserves.