Monday, October 26, 2009

Self Love

Loving oneself is controversial in Christianity. It is usually condemned in any form. As one of my friends and I have discussed several times, many traditions in Christianity seek denial of various loves and desires rather than embracing our deep-seated motivations. That's one of the reasons we like a lot of John Eldredge's work.

Anyway, this is a very interesting post about self-love based on Church Father extraordinaire Bernard of Clairvoux. I like the framing of "The love of self for God's sake" as the highest degree of love, even above "The love of God for God's sake." It really does take a particular level of maturity (psychologically and spirituality) to appreciate oneself, not to compensate for narcissistic injuries, but because we are truly filled with God's love for everyone, including ourselves.

I can definitely say I'm not there. I don't always love myself, and when I do, it's more to compensate for various injuries. Most people I encounter, personally and professionally, would be in the same area. What do you think? Do you think self love is appropriate when it is "for God's sake"? Where do you think you are in those degrees?

1 comment:

  1. I have always thought the "Looking Glass"(mirror) is
    more dark than when I look out at others!

    Similarly, I guess the further away we are from people physically, the more accepting and "loving" we can be. By further means to me, we see the overview not the details!

    Thus, I know I am finding it hard to love myself as much as He would like. Partly that is because I get frustated with my getting upset at situations involving myself or those closest while being most open to those I barely know....... ie..listening to select interviewws aired or opinions of those I respect for what they may stand for overall seems easy; yet, I do not know those people outside of their work or selected opinions aired.

    So, yeah, I am harder on myself and those closer to me but is that to say I do not Love? No, it really is I Love them more but express it less well than I would like.

    Hope this makes some sense...J-M



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