Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” – Mark 12, MSG
I have a really hard time with the loving myself. As I’m packing for a semester, I can’t help but think through every little scenario that could go wrong because I screw up. Every scene that plays through my head either includes me messing something up horribly, or ends with me telling myself “That would never happen. When do those things happen in real life? To you, anyway?” I guess you could say that I’m kind of hard on myself. And by kind of, really. But I know that I’m not the only one who is like this. There are tons of us out there who live on a diet of self-deprecation and black coffee. We allow little hope for ourselves, while trying to give everyone else the benefit of the doubt. But something I’ve noticed is that when I’m in a particularly low and muddy rut of self-doubt, I become more bitter towards the world around me, no matter how many people I give second and third chances to. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” It’s way harder to love others when we can’t love ourselves. And I’m finally starting to really love myself, thank goodness. I still look in the mirror sometimes and say “Ugly”, but more and more often I say “Huh. Not bad.” I’m starting to let me love me, and consequently I feel like I love others more genuinely. It’s amazing.