“Love Yourself First”: The Fundamental Tenet Of Life

Baptized Methodist and converted to Catholicism… dabbling just now in Buddhist philosophy, the art and science of meditation, and learning how to achieve Zen… I am not what most folks would call “spiritually mainstream”.

Having said that, I would add that-as my age continues to advance toward my journey’s ultimate end-I’m no longer terribly concerned with what others have to say about me. Unfettered by such emotions, I am free to “move about the cabin” of my personal life journey focusing on my own unique pursuit of happiness. It’s actually quite exhilarating truth be told.

I’ve recently become addicted to enamored with the website called Flipboard, and this place has opened up a whole new world of discovery that-before its inception-would otherwise have cost me days and days of my time traversing the intertubes trying to find the sorts of things this site puts right at my fingertips. No… No… this is not a shameless pitch; I’ve come to appreciate ANY utility that makes my life easier and I don’t mind sharing new discoveries with others.

Moving on… the point of bringing up Flipboard here is to establish the source of an article I read their which is the basis for this article:

365 Days of Bliss : Avoid 10 Common Everday Mistakes That Prevent You From Being Happy

As I read through the article I was struck by the realization that I do at least six of the 10 things the article suggests I must stop doing in order to be happy. As I considered that, I realized that-like so many other things in our lives-I could choose to ignore the article and move on to something less mentally challenging like what this politician had to say about that one or which celebrity grabbed the latest headline for some foolish word or deed, or I could take a long hard look inside myself and ask the hard questions about what should be done to get that score down closer to zero. needless to say I chose the latter, and this article is my first step toward that ultimate goal. I wonder… to anyone who might someday come by this article… what would you do?

As this article begins to encroach on my self-imposed limit for length, I will develop its close with a promise to revisit this Flipboad article in the not-too-distant future, and take a parting look at #10: ”

Believing that you are unworthy of health, happiness, and love”

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I’m especially interested in this idea of “loving yourself” because it is an idea that has been bespoiled in dramatic fashion in our Western culture to the point that it no longer even means the same thing; it seems to me that we have re–invented the notion of loving oneself into something far beyond what it was originally intended to mean when Buddha said it, or even when Jesus mentioned it as he reminded people of it as he spoke about its importance in the 10 Commandments saying:

“This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

While it may seem counter-intuitive to many, and at the risk of stating the obvious, there can be no unconditional love for others in a world filled with people that don’t, first and foremost, have an unconditional love for themselves. As in so many other things in our lives, it starts with the person looking back at you from the mirror.

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