Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
You’ve designed your Blueprint for Personal Change. You’ve identified the person you want to be and the life you desire. In our three previous columns, you’ve learned something about thinking for your self, an important tool for Re-Creating Your Self. It’s time to begin our exploration of the second indispensible tool for personal change: self love.
Self-love is indispensable because only when you love your self, will you give your self permission to create the best that life has to offer, knowing you are worthy. When self-love isn’t present, you sabotage your heart’s desires as automatically as you breathe, believing your self to be undeserving.
If you don’t love your self now, then you must fall in love with your self before you can fully accept the positive new beliefs in your Blueprint for Personal Change. If you have self-love now, learning to love your self more will make it easier for you to re-create your self.
In suggesting that you “fall in love with your self,” I’m not condoning or encouraging conceit, narcissism, egoism, selfishness, or any of the negative characteristics that society commonly associates with self-love.
When Jesus Christ advised,”…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self,” he was taking a natural self-love for granted.
Natural self love is the respectful acknowledgment of your personal goodness, originality and value. It includes a basic caring, interest and affection for your self. It means knowing that you have a right to be alive, and that you matter. Unlike narcissism and egoism, natural self-love includes the recognition that all other beings are worthwhile, important and unique; they have a right to be here – they matter.
This type of self-love is a basic tool for successful living and an essential one for Re-Creating Your Self. Possessing self-love can’t be taken for granted. Loving your self can be difficult in a world that has accepted so many negative beliefs about the nature of selfhood. I’ve already mentioned some of these philosophies in previous columns: Some religions’ belief that man is inherently sinful, science’s theory that personhood is amoral and accidental, the beliefs that the individual is little more than a pawn of society or the state.
ROMANCING YOUR SELF
If you don’t possess a natural self-love now, then you must begin to “court” or romance your self. Learning to trust your self and express your individuality, as described in previous columns, are excellent starting points. Adopting the following attitudes will also help:
Fall in love with your self by seeing your self in the best possible light. Appreciate the good qualities you have now; focus on your further goodness that has yet to come. Be excited, very excited, by your potential for additional accomplishment and growth. Give short shrift to your perceived shortcomings. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your flaws, but you shouldn’t dislike, disapprove, or hate your self for them, either. You can learn from your flaws if you allow them to point the way toward future accomplishment. Viewed in this manner, flaws actually promote personal growth by indicating the gaps in your personal development.
Fall in love with your self by understanding that you are here to create a happy, fulfilling life, and not to struggle and suffer. The so-called Christian work ethic that claims you are here to sweat and strain is neither Christian nor ethical, and it blocks natural self-love. After all, how can you cultivate self-love if you believe your self to be little more than a human workhorse?
Fall in love with your self by appreciating your whole self: body, mind and soul. You may have been taught to love your soul and hate your body. (The jury is still “out” as regards your mind.) You may have been told that spirit is good, but flesh is evil. That’s an absurd attitude. The Bible affirms that God judged all of His/Her creation “very good.”
A Re-Creating Your Self Thought: Spanning history, many of the world’s most celebrated teachers have heralded the necessity of healthy self-love. One example: Aristotle taught that self-love was the foundation on which all friendships are based.
According to the ancient Greek philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great, self-love must be present before friendship with others can be successful.
Next Up: The Importance of Self-Love Continued
Have a comment, observation, or question about Re-Creating Your Self? Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2009 by Christopher Stone