This week I am considering the question Brene Brown left her class members during the months before the second half of 'The Gifts Of Imperfection" class begins. These questions are reminders to keep us "alive" to what we have learned. So, can we love others if we don't love ourselves? There are many evidences around that people are kinder to others than themselves. I hear that by the remarks made in self-deprecation and the ways we sabotage our physical and mental health with addictive behaviors. Is loving others easier than loving ourselves? Is it the feeling that we are talking about or the actions. the practicing of love?
Renae Cobb answered the questions this way.
"Certainly, the people we love inspire us to heights of love and compassion that we might have never achieved otherwise, but to really scale those heights, we often have to go to the depths of who we are, light/shadow, good/evil, loving/destructive, and figure out our own stuff in order to love them better. So I’m not sure it’s an either/or but a both/and. We love others fiercely, maybe more than we think we love ourselves, but that fierce love should drive us to the depths of our selves so that we can learn to be compassionate with ourselves."
Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection (pp. 29-30).
I could over think this to the point of confusion, so I go to the best example I know of love. Jesus, my Savior, not only loved purely but he loved whole-heartedly. This surely gave him a peace about his own beingness. I made up that word in lieu of trying to find another. But really this question asks another question. Where is my focus? Jesus made clear in his own words where his actions were focused. "I do works of my Father". His relationship with His Father made clear how he felt about others. He did what His Father did, he loved who His Father loved, and we know His Father loved him. He called His Son beloved when he introduced Him.
When I move my focus from myself to Him, "The Way", I find peace about my own imperfections. Really, the greatest gift, by far, in excepting myself, is the joy of turning to Him. I am enough to qualify for salvation through the merits of Jesus Christ. So, the question is not, do I love myself, but, how much do I love Him?