Hate the sin, love the sinner

Let’s face it, we’re all humans, we all make mistakes and I’m sure we have all done a few things we’re not proud of…I know I have…and that doesn’t make us ‘bad’ in any way. We are not our thoughts, we are not our actions. We’re not ‘bad’.

In Your relationship with you; love yourself I talked about the inner you, the perfect you, your soul, your God spark, if you like. I find that a lot of people have difficulty accepting and loving even this pure and beautiful part of them….and cannot contemplate even liking, let alone, loving, their physical, human side; this breaks my heart. We have all been given the awesome gift of life and, to me, it is such a terrible shame and waste to shun it.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all feel comfortable with accepting and loving both the inner and outside parts of us without condition or judgement? If we could love ourselves as much as we can love others?

The more I think about this, the more I realise that it seems that the only unconditional love that is acceptable in our society, and actually positively expected, is the love a mother has for her children. I’m not, in any way, dismissing a father’s role but note that the bond, and I’m obviously generalising here, of carrying, giving birth to, breastfeeding and being (often) the full-time and primary caregiver during a child’s formative years is undeniably strong. Mothers naturally feel that they would do anything, even die, for their children and are actually considered cruel, selfish and cold if they don’t share this strength of feeling.

In any other relationship though, other than parent / child and sometimes husband /wife, unconditional (true) love it is thought of as weird, awkward, inappropriate, stalkerish and creepy.

It’s hardly surprising that, as deeply loving our friends of both sexes is frowned upon, loving ourself unconditionally and unquestionably tends to be thought of as odd and inappropriate. Loving ourselves is thought of as conceited and arrogant, isn’t that sad?

True love gives freedom, fake love controls

I’ve noticed that the word ‘love’ is being bandied around more and more frequently by the younger generation..gosh, how old do I feel typing that?! This love is not thought of as peculiar at all….but that is because it is not real love…often doesn’t even denote a fondness. Unfortunately, this has diluted, if not made a total mockery of, true love…it’s has become pretty much as meaningless; a hollow word. Time will tell how much it has damaged the loving and being loved qualities of the boys and girls who are throwing the word ‘love’ around like confetti; sadly, this is its only connection with the love and connection involved in a wedding.

It simply is not possible for us to truly love another until we love ourselves. I like the analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask in the event of a problem on an aeroplane, before we help anyone with theirs…we ‘re no good to ourselves or anyone else if we don’t tend to ourself first.

Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have

If we don’t love and value ourselves, we can easily be treated badly. We need sufficient self-esteem to know we are worthy of love and kindness; the more we love ourselves, the less desperate and needy we are and the less nonsense we’ll tolerate. It’s beautiful when someone loves us, but actually it’s not their job to make us happy, it’s ours. Giving away the key to our happiness can only end badly. You might like to look at this in more detail in Enjoy the relationships you’ve always dreamed of; the perfect ones.

Loving someone leaves us vulnerable and I get that it’s scary but as long as we let fear hold us back, we will never be free to enjoy the bliss of reciprocated love.

Be the love you want to see

Love yourself and others as much as you want to be loved; love yourself and others without expecting anything in return.

Once we learn to love our soul, and our human self …we might even be able to consider loving our own body? You think I’m seriously pushing my luck now, don’t you?

Mirror, mirror on the wall…it’s all gone south

I haven’t always liked my body. I’m very, very grateful that I am now happy with my lot. I have exercised all my life and had a trim and firm body well into my forties, but still found parts of myself to criticise.

I was, however, beginning to take my skin for granted but as I reached my half century, gravity eventually started taking its toll. At first it was just around my eyes and then my face and body caught up. It was quite a shock, realising I wasn’t invincible; catching sight of myself in a mirror made me wince more than ever…maybe you know where I’m coming from.

Then I realised how ungrateful, shallow and unrealistic I was being. No one can expect to stay looking young forever and I was wasting precious time arguing with ‘what is’. If there’s no way of changing something, there is no point whatsoever worrying about it. I’ve learned to be grateful for all I have; to accept and love myself. Now I look at the changes to my body with interest, sometimes with amusement but never with judgement, dissatisfaction or regret. This is not to say I don’t look after my body or don’t make the best out of it, I just no longer suffer in any way. At all.

The shift in my perspective, I saw, was a narrowing of the difference between my inner and outer self; the physical and spiritual parts of me. My priorities have completely changed and I am truly happy. I hope you are too. If not, please get in touch, I can help.

Next week, I’ll be talking about my new book, Rediscovering Wisdom, Peace and Happiness. Until then, have a great week and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Love, Catherine x

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