The second commandment is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself[that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]; Matthew 22:38-39
Can you remember ever thinking “something is seriously wrong with me?”
I like the Amplified version of verse 39, which says ‘… ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]’. I understand from this statement that Jesus is saying, when you love yourself you seek the best and the higher good for yourself- and when you are able to do this for yourself, then you can do it for others. If you spend time with people, as I do, mostly observing or spend time alone reflecting on your inner self you will observe that your mind does a lot of self talk. Everyone acknowledges this, the Christians, the eastern religions, the transcendental practitioners, the psychologists… everyone knows this. And everyone has their own way of dealing with it (which is to be respected, if we can learn the good and leave behind what opposes biblical scripture).
I always speak about the Self (the Soul: the mind, will and emotions), and how important it is to love yourself. Yes, we should love God but God also says we are to love others as we love ourselves. What if you do not love yourself, can you really love others? When you love others, you do not hurt them in anyway- you would not kill, steal or envy others, and you wouldn’t commit adultery or make accusations against them either.
- is it okay to cheat yourself in life?
- Is it okay to hurt your self by making poor decisions or neglecting to make any at all?
- Is it okay to compare yourself to others?
- Why do we bargain with our standards and boundaries?
It is very easy to develop self-hatred as this goes unnoticed. Many assume that they love themselves, and that everything is okay because they can seemingly still function. Most people seem to function as if they love themselves: they look great on the outside, take care of their basic needs and even continue attending to their responsibilities. But nobody knows what goes on in each person’s mind, like my mom always says the phrase: “each head is its own world.”
I recently learned that the female who committed suicide last week, felt that “everyone was better than her”. And inferred from years of study, she was battling negative thoughts of inferiority, which dug her into a deep cave. I have learned that it is easy to fall into depression when we compare ourselves to others and when we live insignificant lives. We cannot rely (trust) in our emotions (even the positive ones), because they are erratic and unstable and will lead us astray. Think about it: when you’ve been excited… have you ever agreed to something and later wondered ‘what was I thinking!?”, same as while being in a negative state, finding that you made a drastic decision sometimes with no return (suicide/homicide).
The truth about the soul is that it is like a growing garden, it needs to be tended. We cannot measure our worth based on outside circumstances, like financial hardship, betrayal, separation or disappointment. Even when it feels like life is falling apart, we have to accept the part of life which promises that we will suffer. Our identity and value was not and is not tied to what we experience in life. We are, our soul, AND ONLY EXPERIENCE LIFE THROUGH THE BODY.
The issue with not taking care of these areas is that you will be plagued with thoughts and emotions that do not match your life values. If you truly value your paycheck, you would get to work on time and do a good job to keep that job- if you do not value your paycheck, you would and could argue with your bosses even physically assault a few people in your department. Or if you value having a family one day, why cheat on every partner you have? Or if you desire to make your wife happy, but will not help her out around the house because you value your “macho”. Our values have to match our actions. Have you ever caught yourself, “beating yourself up”? If you are guilty of this too, we are not demonstrating self love to ourselves. We often go through erratic episodes, even daily, depending on how much self control you apply to your thought life and/or emotional life.
You have to feel worthy of love, and that comes from loving yourself
I believe heavily and obsessively in self improvement, so when I do not see results or act in a way that is contrary to my efforts, I get frustrated. And gradually dig deeper into a cave, telling myself things like: “I’m always wrong, I never get it right. My work is never appreciated, what a waste of time, this is never going to work out, I have a bad attitude, I’m too sensitive that’s the problem, what’s the point, I never stop complaining, and I’m never going to change. I’m so mad at myself! I hate when I make the same mistakes, why did I have to do that? That was all my fault, this is too. I hate my life, nothing ever changes, I’m tired of being tired. I keep letting myself down, I’m not good enough. I can’t even trust myself, I hate my life……”. I know I am not alone in this, because I know people.
Take care of your love life with you. Guilt, shame and resentment are all rooms in the house of hate.
How is your love life with you?
Lord Jesus, you that know everyone and their thought life, their history and future; I present to you the people I care about, even those reading today. I pray that you help us forgive ourselves for anything we allow or have done that has birthed guilt, resentment or hatred in our souls. I pray you help us to accept ourselves and our minds with all of its emotions and random thoughts. I pray that you reveal those parts of our personalities which need more of your presence, and I pray for love and acceptance for our bodies as well. If there is a need to seek medical intervention, like psychologists, counselors or aesthetics, I pray you would lead us and confirm us to do so. I pray Lord, that the love we have for ourselves be so true and powerful, that we never reject or sabotage ourselves, our happiness, or future. May the love you have for us penetrate our entire being, and may it be felt so that it may break each and every single lies we were programmed to believe. May we love our family and friends unconditionally, and have the courage to change our relationships in the most beneficial way. In Jesus name, Amen.