To seek to love others seems universally accepted, although we may all draw the line differently on whom we choose to seek to love. And we probably all agree that love is wonderful but also complicated.
To seek to love ourselves may receive a more mixed response. Many may react with diffidence.
And yet how we perceive – and treat – ourselves (loved or unloved) has a big impact on how we perceive – and treat – others (to love or not to love).
Religious traditions and ancient and present-day cultures share common ground on emphasising the need to love and care for yourself and those around you: ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’
We’ve just had Valentine’s Day, mercifully marked with less commercialism due to lockdown! Some may love the day; others may detest the day. For me this year I was drawn to reflect on the source of love – the Divine: ‘we love because God first loved us.’ It is experiencing being loved – for me, with a love stronger than any human being could possibly show – that makes it possible to keeping taking steps towards (albeit with hesitancy at times) loving myself and thereby being more able to love others.
This is Mindful Monday on 15 February 2021. Join others for an evening of virtual mindfulness on Monday 8 March, 7pm (UK time). Just email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. There is no charge.