Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
We’re wrapping our discussion of the second Re-Creating Your Self tool for change, Falling in Love with Your Self.
Love Does Not Demand Self-Sacrifice
Some times loved ones would have us accept an unnatural guilt when we’re unwilling to prove our love by making personal sacrifice.
The father insists, If you really loved me, you’d come into the family business.”
The husband pouts, “If you really loved me, you’d never look at another man.”
If you believe that love implies sacrifice, then you’ll accept a bad feeling about your self whenever you refuse to do the bidding of a loved one. When you do something for someone out of guilt, rather than love, they know it at some level, and your so-called sacrifice doesn’t really help.
True love is selfless; it is given to the loved one without wanting sacrifice in payment, or demanding sacrifice in order to prove the love is reciprocated. True love is given joyfully, with no expectations, no qualifications and no limitations.
Helping loved ones is important, but doing what is right for your self is essential. You are responsible for creating your own happiness; you cannot assume responsibility for the happiness of others, though you certainly may contribute to their happiness.
In reality, the so-called self-sacrificing individual is frequently a person who avoids confronting the challenges of his/her own life life by losing themselves in someone else’s. This is not selfless and virtuous; it’s a way of dodging self-responsibility.
The “self-sacrificing” father who claims, “I gave up my dreams and spent thirty years in a thankless job in order to support my family,” is really admitting, “I didn’t believe the dreams I held for my life were worth much,” or, “I didn’t believe I was capable of making them come true.” This man didn’t sacrifice anything; he created the life he believed he deserved in line with his personal beliefs.
Accept self-responsibility, and then pursue your life in a joyful, creative, loving manner. Help your self, and you will automatically help your loved ones, and humankind at large.
WORSHIP YOUR SELF
Most dictionaries define “worship” as “reverent love and allegiance…ardent, humble devotion.”
Many of us have been told to worship God, but few of us have been advised to worship our selves. I rarely claim that “this” or “that” is impossible, but I’m about to make an exception. It’s impossible to worship any god, or to truly love anyone, if you don’t first love and worship your self. You can’t give to others what you don’t possess yourself.
People, who claim to worship a god, or to love an individual, without first loving and worshipping themselves, are not really honoring the object of their devotion. They are, in effect, “passing the buck” – placing responsibility for their happiness upon the shoulders of the worshipped one. That brand of adoration is something that anyone, or any god, can best live without.
Discover the god within you and worship your self. Love, honor and cherish your self before making similar vows to another. By so doing, you will fulfill any responsibility that your Creator, or any person, could reasonably expect you to assume.
A LOVE LETTER TO MY SELF
We end our examination of self-love with another Re-Creating Your Self Inner Space Adventure, perhaps my favorite.
For most of you, this will be a unique adventure. You’re going to write a love letter to your self, acknowledging that you are worthy of your own love, and promising to do your level best to change any negative beliefs that keep you from loving your self, or from loving your self more fully.
You’ll need your Re-Creating Your Self notebook, and I’ll be your guide. What follows is my first love letter to my self, written shortly after I developed the process I then called Re-Creating My Self.
YOUR GUIDE FOR THIS ADVENTURE: CHRISTOPHER STONE
This letter is long overdue. Negative attitudes have kept me from writing it sooner. Now I realize it was unfair of me to judge you on the basis of those ridiculous, false beliefs.
Are you sitting down?
What I’m trying to say is, I love you! I know you never thought you’d hear me say those words, much less, write them. I mean it. I love you, just the way you are.
After examining why I withheld my love for so long, I understand that I resented you for not fitting in with your family, or your peers. You were never the model son, or just one of the gang. You were different and I didn’t like that. I thought you were a misfit, unlovable – basically worthless.
Now I know that your individuality should have been celebrated from the start. You’re an original, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Don’t get a swelled head. I’m not saying you’re Mr. Perfect, but I’m saying you don’t need to be Mr. Perfect for me to love you. I can love you for the good person you are right now, even as you are striving to become better.
I’m committing myself to loving you even more in the future. I can do this by discarding the other negative attitudes that have kept me from appreciating you more fully. I understand that this represents a lifetime commitment, but I can think of no one who better deserves that kind of devotion.
This is my first love letter to you, but I promise, it won’t be my last.
With sincere affection,
A Re-Creating Your Self Thought: Be afraid – be very afraid – of any philosophy that tells you that “God is love,” but you are inherently bad, sinful.
Nest time: Affirming Your New Self.
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