This Sunday we were reminded not only to love God and our neighbors, but to love ourselves. When Jesus was asked “What is the greatest commandment?”, he responded with familiar words. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” He quickly followed with a second commandment, saying “Love your neighbor as yourself.” You can read the story in Matthew 22:34-40.
We have an understanding of what it means to love God with our whole selves and we are pretty good and striving to love our neighbors but we often gloss over the ‘as yourself’ part of the commandment. Loving ourselves often seems to be the most overlooked of these directives. It may be because loving ourselves sometimes feels selfish when in truth it is not. Perhaps it’s because loving ourselves can be difficult as we tend to be our own worst critics. Why is it that we will say things to or about ourselves that we wouldn’t dare say about anyone else.
Compassion Camp challenged us to remember that we are each made and loved by God and that to love others we must also love ourselves. By fully accepting God’s love for us, we are better able to share that love with others. This week we challenge you to do just that – love yourself.
Here are some ideas:
- Write five things that you love about yourself and post them on your mirror or kitchen window or make it your screen saver.
- Spend a day challenging yourself to turn every negative self-criticism or thought into a positive statement.
- Take a walk, bike ride, or car ride and enjoy time to yourself.
- Bake or cook something that you really love.
- Pick up that hobby that brings you peace and joy and dedicate an hour to it – paint, stitch, woodwork, garden.
However you do it, find a way to intentionally show yourself some love this week, and encourage those you love to do the same.
Associate Minister of Preschool and Children