Dictionary.com definition: n. "regard for one's own well-being and happiness
(chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic)."
SELF-LOVE ISN’T SELF-ISH
How do I love me? Let me count the ways.
It was mid-morning and I felt like another cup of coffee. Instead, I turned on the kettle and boiled some water, threw a lemon wedge in my cup and smiled because I was good to my body. I plopped down on the couch to scan my device and was interrupted by a thought, why not sit still instead and invite God into my day, my thoughts, and my activities. So I did, and my soul settled down. I was good to her.
While my soul sat still, part of a Scripture verse sprang to mind so I looked it up and read the verse in its context, not once but twice. Then I pondered the passage and prayed. My mind was filled with Truth that set the tone of my day. Body, spirit and mind were well cared for in a space of 15 minutes. That’s self-love! Fueled with God’s Truth, I was ready to meet the rest of the day.
Every hour of the day we are faced with hundreds of choices. Some of our decisions are thoughtful while others are thoughtless. And as the day wears on and our energy is depleted, it‘s more difficult to make wise choices. We unconsciously slide into justification mode and all too easily rationalize our decisions from a place of entitlement – I deserve.
In certain monastic or contemplative traditions, sacred hours are recognized throughout the day to call the believer to pause and recalibrate the heart in line with God’s will. This may not seem practical in most of our lives but is there a way to stay more attuned to the voice of the Spirit? Can you set your smart watch or phone to buzz at certain intervals of the day as a reminder to pause, breathe and become aware of God’s presence? If you’re on the go much of the day, can stopping at a traffic light trigger the same response? Can the ding of a text be a signal to first stop and breathe and say, “God, help” or “God, thank you”? These are small ways to refuel throughout the day. Be creative. God is. And you are made in God’s image.
And at the close of your day, think back to the times you paused and turned heavenward. Give thanks for those times. Notice when you could’ve but didn’t. Talk to God about it and ask for the grace to be more attuned tomorrow.
This is self-love. This equips us to make a loving difference in the world.
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.
The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these.”
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.”
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:5, 8
To read more of Cathy's writing, go to her website at cathyfortleyland.com