Its Okay to Love Yourself

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. — Gautama Buddha

Being reared inside of Fundamentalist Christian circles, I was taught it was evil to love yourself. For many years I obediently propagated this falsehood. Joy was taught as the acronym: J.O.Y. The acronym was made of three words: Jesus, Others, and You. The teaching is that in order to obtain inner joy, you have to love your Self last. You must love Jesus firstly, others secondly, and aways lastly your Self.

The theology propagates a notion of self-hate.

For many years, I hungered to understand how this could be so. Gnawing within were questions like, “Am I not a product of the Creator?” and “How can I love my Creator if I cannot love myself—a product of creation?”

The truth is: to love your Self is to love the Creator.

Joseph Butler was an Anglican theologian (Christian) of the 17th century. His moral philosophy is known for criticizing egoistic self-love. Interestingly enough, his arguments help us understand that every passion we pursue does not mean we are selfish. He helps us understand the principle of self-love is happiness of the self, not self-indulgence. In other words: it’s okay to love yourself.

Jesus taught to love your neighbor as yourself. You cannot love others until you learn to love yourself. That means it is okay to love yourself. And you will never obtain success until you do.

There is something driving you to be successful. What is it that you want to produce? Is there a service you are passionate to give others? Is it a legacy for your family? There is something you want to pursue. It is not a sin to seek happiness. And you find happiness during the pursuit of a passion.

Love is more than an emotion.

Love as a noun means there is a mental affection that gets excited at beauty and things of worth. There is an intellectual pleasure communicated through qualities of objects and people. It is not just an emotion of sensuality.

You are a beautiful creature. The combinations of natural elements that make up who you are defy logic. You are a wonderful, marvelous person. Appreciate your own worth.

Love as a verb is the general sense of being pleased with something. When you respect the qualities of your own make-up, it yields a pleasing sensation. You are happy to be alive. You are grateful for life. You love your Self. And you are able to do something with that love for others.  Love is faith in action.

When there is a mutual commitment to shared vision, there is love. Your success begins with loving yourself and embracing the dream you have to help others. Create your personal mission statement and put your love into practice. Mutual love submits to something greater than you. Loving your Self is the foundation for loving others and creating a cause.

Success to fulfill your dreams begins when you unite an appreciation for who you are with what you want to do. Your outward actions express your inward Self. Love who you are so that you can express an unselfish love towards others.

There is a parable floating through cyberspace of unknown origin that illustrates this notion of success. It is a story of an African tribe who handles a member who does something hurtful and wrong. They take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe surrounds him. For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done.

Sometimes you need to be reminded that you were made exactly how the Creator intended. Yes, we all fall short of Eternal glory. And that is the point: His standard is what we strive to meet! Inside of you is the ability to find that glory. When you make a mistake, don’t focus on what went wrong; focus on what went right. There is so much good in you. It is from that good you will find success.

Affirmation: I am loving with a unified body and soul.

The above is a selection from 56 Notions of Success. You can meet me at a book signing August 14, 2016 in Carlsbad, California.

Author: A Sojourner's Diary

Dr Timothy Rose is a long-term student of ancient writings seeking practical wisdom for the life journey under the sun.

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