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I was aware as I was growing up that I was supposed to be learning to love myself because it came up at Sunday School all the time. You were supposed to love yourself first and then you’d be able to love others, and in both those ways you’d be honoring God. But I did not know how to make any of this happen. I know that must sound astounding, but loving others, and certainly loving self were not very clear concepts around our house. For one thing, there were a lot of people on Mom’s ‘black list’ and Dad was always suffering nitwits and imbeciles. There was little talk of how great anybody anywhere was except for Mom’s friends on TV, you know, people like Betty White and Debbie Reynolds. And no one ever said the word ‘love’ unless it was in a sentence such as, “Did you know that Lucy is in love with Charlie Brown?” Besides all this I was always doing things that were stupid. The whole thing was a lost cause on me.

Here I am decades later and I have made great strides in the direction of loving others. I can see now there are plenty of fantastic lovable people that I am thrilled to be around. I love loads of folks. As far as loving myself goes, I have improved greatly there, too, in that I can frequently forgive myself for being human.

But just outright, ‘I am fantastic, flaws and all’, wouldn’t that be a great thing to teach a kid?

Hope this is a present I gave my children.

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