Tuesday, October 4, 2011
We experience peace when we learn to fully love ourselves so that we can then radiate that love to others. When we care only about achieving, earning, or having more than others, we do not find true peace. When are not content when we are either comparing ourselves with those whom we believe are above us or ridiculing those whom we consider beneath us. Selfishness does not promotes genuine serenity for true love gives as well as receives love.
Although helping and serving others can provide peace, if we love others instead of loving ourselves we can become dependent on others for our happiness instead of trusting in God as the Source of all peace and joy. The account of the Prodigal Son describes a father who loved his son perfectly without becoming codependent on his son for his own happiness. When the son rebelled from his father, the father allowed the son to suffer the consequences for his unwise decisions yet enthusiastically welcomed his son back after the son repented and returned. If the father had tried to rescue his son, his son would not have learned from his bad choices. If the father had been consumed with self-loathing because of his son's self-defeating choices, he might have lacked the strength to forgive his repentent child and receive him when he returned. When we become obsessively selfless, we may be effective at giving love but not at receiving it.
When we trust completely in God, we allow Him to fill our hearts with peace even when life is difficult and unfair. When we feast on God's infinite love for us, we can then give and receive His love freely. Self-compassion, a gift from God, enhances our ability to love ourselves and to love others. We learn to love ourselves because God first loved us. Then, filled with His love, we can love others in healthy ways that promote happiness and peace.
© Carol Brown