Monday, 24 January 2011

The greatest love of all?

Do you remember Whitney Houston’s 80’s hit “The greatest love of all”

I used to hate it with a passion, especially the lyric “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all”.
How self indulgent! What about others? Surely the greatest love is the selfless sacrificial love of others before yourself.

Well now I’m not so sure.

Jesus said, the two greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbour as yourself (Matt 22:36-40). Now lets read that backwards and what do you find that you can’t love your neighbour very well if you don’t love yourself.

What does it mean to love yourself? I think it means you really need to know and accept yourself, warts and all - and we all have warts (using mental & emotional ones).

I’m sure most of us have done some sort of personality or physcological test (Belbin, Myers Briggs, Emotional Health) these are useful for us to know ourselves, but how much do we really look at these to understand and accept and know ourselves.

I think we almost always need help to really understand ourselves.  Having had some counselling I know more about myself (and also about others) than I could have ever known on my own – no matter how many tests I did.

Richard Rohr said,
“How you love people is how you love God,
How you love God is how you love people,
How you let God love you is how you let people love you"

There is so much in this and it is so challenging. I want to add a line to this statement:

"How much I will love (know) myself I can love people and therefore God."

So take some time to know, accept and love yourself today.

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