Friday, February 10, 2012

How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential...loving ourselves.
Brene Brown
What's your reaction to this quote?

Here's mine.

[brakes screeching] "Love myself? Blasphemy!"

I've heard my whole life that SELF must be squelched. Preoccupation with SELF is dangerous.
"Deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow..."
"The heart is deceitful above all things."
"Think of others more highly than yourself."
When I read things like this, I do a double-take:
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them - we can only love others as much as we love our selves.
Is this true?

Another thought occurs to me. I feel most acceptable when I see myself through my mom's eyes.

Who am I according to Mom?

Precious
Beloved
Cherished
Valuable
Worthy
Pleasant
Delightful

In her eyes I am perfect, the same way she is perfect in my eyes. Not flawless, not without weakness, but perfect. She is perfectly her, just as she IS. I don't love her any less in her frailty. In fact, I love her more.

What would it be like if I could offer the same kind of acceptance to myself? What would the consequences be?

Even typing these words feels silly. Frivolous. Juvenile. The part of me that wants to be dignified is shushing right now.

But I'm intrigued. What does loving yourself mean? Is it necessary and important or selfish and wrong?


*Quotes from The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

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